Castelfranco Altarpiece essay
- 1803 December 2
Conditions Governing Use
0.167 Cubic Feet (5 pages)
Giorgione was born in Castelfranco, province of Treviso, Italy in 1477. Treviso was known as a center of Renaissance art and culture. The cathedrals and churches date from the 13th century, and contain paintings and frescoes by Titian, Paris Bardone and Tommasa da Mordena. Giorgione entered the school of Giovanni Bellini around 1494 as a pupil and studio assistant. Eventually, it was Giorgione who supervised the work of Titian. In 1803, Domenico Maria Federici published a historical survey of the region's fine art, Memorie Trevigiane, and he acknowledged the contributions of Giorgione.
In 1504, Giorgione was commissioned to paint the altarpiece for the chapel of St. George in the parish church of St. Liberale, Castelfranco. General Tuzio Costanzo commissioned the painting to commemorate the death of his son, Matteo Costanzo. The painting is of the Madonna and Child enthroned between St. Liberale and St. Francis. The throne bears the Costanzo coat of arms.
Over the centuries, the painting deteriorated and was restored several times. It is known that Mauro Pellicioli took measures to reinforce the whole painted surface in 1931. The painting is referred to as the Castelfranco Altarpiece or the Madonna of Castelfranco. The restored painting is in the Church of St. Liberale, Castelfranco Veneto. Giorgione died in 1511.
Scope and Contents
The essay noted that prior to 1803, the painting was found to be in such poor condition that the origin could be surmised only by the face of the Madonna. Arriano Balsafiori, a Neapolitan painter living in Venice, restored it to its previous perfection in 1803.
The essay contains an interesting piece of information in that a note on the back of the board reads: "Dear Cecilia, come, hurry up, Yours in waiting, Giorgio Barbarella."
The essay concludes by noting that Castelfranco is proud to own the important painting by their own illustrious painter.
A complete translation of the essay is available.
The following title is available in Special Collections:
Federici, Domenico Maria. Memorie Trevigiane. Venezia: Presso Andreola, 1803. (Cage NC256 .T8 F4 1803)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA