SEBASTIANO DEL PIOMBO
(b. 1485, Venezia, d. 1547, Roma)
Death of Adonis1511-12
Oil on canvas, 189 x 285 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
Of the many painters who assimilated and vulgarised the contemplative, romantic manner of Giorgione, Sebastiano del Piombo was inspired by the monumental form and by the possibility of making it solemn with the use of colour. It is precisely in this contained plasticism that we find the result of the integration of the two pictorial cultures. This painting shows a still Giorgionesque atmosphere - the view of the lake and the sunset - in which three superb examples of sculptural nudity are inserted: a doleful Venus, and her attendant maidservants, who turn abruptly to silence a bearded Pan who is continuing to play his flute.