Paolo Veronese

Paolo Veronese (or PAOLO CAGLIARI), a very noted Italian painter who belonged to the Venetian school of the 16th century, was a native of Verona. whence his surname. He was born, according to Ridolfi, in 1532, though others say in 1528. His father was a sculptor, and afforded the boy all the art-training that he seemed so much to seek after. When quite young he moved to Venice, where he soon developed talents which placed him on an equality with Titian. As colorists the two men differ considerably. Titian's colors are strong and bright, Veronese's are toned down, less gorgeous, more delicate. Paolo was eminently successful in a certain style of painting, and adhered to it through a long and active life. Most of his pictures represent scenes in the life of Christ, in which the personages appear in Venetiani costumes of the 16th century, and in which are introduced portraits of contemporaries. It is useless to criticize such a phase of art, or to approach it with the same laws with which we judge pure artistic conception. Veronese's art is ornamentation carried to its highest perfection, but neither admitting nor asking comparison. with the art of the Florentine or Roman schools. His pictures all present the same qualities of exquisite grace and refinement full of what modern artists call "style." The mind never tires of these paintings, but rests upon them with pleasure and content. No great effort is necessary to enjoy them; they leave a pleasurable sensation, as if we too had been enjoying the culture and luxuries of Venetian life. His best works are his four great paintings in the Venetian churches. The first was painted for the refectory of S. Giorgio Maggiore, and is now in the Louvre at Paris. The subject is The Marriage at Cana; it is over twenty-five feet wide, and contains an immense number of figures, many of which are portraits. It is said that he received only ninety ducats for this immense work, which is accounted for by the fact that he never accepted more. remuneration from the convents than the expense of his materials. The second, painted in 1570 for S. Sebastino, represents The Feast of Sinmon, with Magdalene washing the feet of Christ. The third, executed for SS. Giovanni and Paolo, is The Savior at Supper with his Disciples. The fourth (which is perhaps his masterpiece): is the same subject as the second, but quite differently treated; it was painted for the refectory of the Padri Servi, and in 1665 was presented by the republic to Louis XIV. There are a few masterly etchings marked "P. C." and "P. A. cal.," which are attributed to Paolo, among which are The Adoration of the Magi, "Paolo Veronese fee.;" and Two Saints Sleeping (no mark). See Spooner, Biog. Hist. of the Fine Arts, 1:156; Ruskin, Modern Painters; Rudolfi, Vita di P. Cagliari (1648); Lecarpentier, Notice sur P. Cagliari (1816); Zabeo, Elogio di P. Cagliari (1813). (J. H.W.)

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