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Paolo Veronese (1528-1588) | Assessment

An artist's biography of Paolo Veronese (1528-1588) was included in the second edition of the Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects (1568), by Giorgio Vasari, with improved coverage of the painters of the Venetian school.
A fuller biography of Veronese had to await Le maraviglie dell'Arte ovvero, Le vite degli Illustri Pittori Veneti and dello Stato (1648), by Carlo Ridolfi, a compilation of the Venetian School painters.
Ridolfi said that Veronese's painting of The Feast in the House of Levi (1573) is "by far, the most important source for our knowledge of his art", because "it gave rein to joy, made beauty majestic, made laughter, itself, more festive".



In 2014, the art historian Charles Hope wrote of Veronese's strengths and weaknesses: "He is notable above all as a colorist who used a range of bright hues with a boldness unmatched in his time and scarcely equaled since", but because his use of color "was often calculated to create a harmonious overall effect rather than to single out the main protagonists", his paintings convey little narrative drama.

According to Hope, "the effect is sumptuous, seductive but ultimately excessive and a little monotonous, rather like a visit to a patisserie".

In Paintings in the Louvre (1987), Lawrence Gowing’s modern assessment of Paolo Veronese’s artistic achievement is that:
"The French had no doubts, as the critic Théophile Gautier wrote in 1860, that Veronese was the greatest colorist who ever lived—greater than Titian, Rubens, or Rembrandt because he established the harmony of natural tones in place of the modeling in dark and light that remained the method of academic chiaroscuro.

Delacroix wrote that Veronese made light without violent contrasts, "which we are always told is impossible, and maintained the strength of hue in shadow".
This innovation could not be better described. Veronese’s bright outdoor harmonies enlightened and inspired the whole nineteenth century.
He was the foundation of modern painting. But whether his style is in fact naturalistic, as the Impressionists thought, or a most subtle and beautiful imaginative invention must remain a question for each age to answer for itself.





Paolo Cagliari (1528–1588), known as Paolo Veronese was an Italian Renaissance painter based in Venice, known for extremely large history paintings of religion and mythology, such as The Wedding at Cana (1563) and The Feast in the House of Levi (1573).
Included with Titian, a generation older, and Tintoretto, a decade senior, Veronese is one of the "great trio that dominated Venetian painting of the cinquecento" and the Late Renaissance in the 16th century.
Known as a supreme colorist, and after an early period with Mannerism, Paolo Veronese developed a naturalist style of painting, influenced by Titian.
His most famous works are elaborate narrative cycles, executed in a dramatic and colorful style, full of majestic architectural settings and glittering pageantry.


His large paintings of biblical feasts, crowded with figures, painted for the refectories of monasteries in Venice and Verona are especially famous, and he was also the leading Venetian painter of ceilings.
Most of these works remain in situ, or at least in Venice, and his representation in most museums is mainly composed of smaller works such as portraits that do not always show him at his best or most typical.
He has always been appreciated for "the chromatic brilliance of his palette, the splendor and sensibility of his brushwork, the aristocratic elegance of his figures, and the magnificence of his spectacle", but his work has been felt "not to permit expression of the profound, the human, or the sublime", and of the "great trio" he has often been the least appreciated by modern criticism.
Nonetheless, "many of the greatest artists ... may be counted among his admirers, including Rubens, Watteau, Tiepolo, Delacroix and Renoir". | Source: © Wikipedia