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Vittore Carpaccio

A Renaissance charmer

Detail of dragon in S. Giorgio degli Schiavone

Vittore Carpaccio (c. 1465–1525), perhaps the most charming of Venetian artists, produced Venetian scenes full of color and incident, as well as ostensibly religious paintings with dreamlike images set in fairy-tale landscapes. Carpaccio was a pupil of Lazzaro Bastiani and Giovanni Bellini, and was inspired by Antonello da Messina. Through his lavish use of deep Venetian red, and because an exhibit of his works was on in 1950, just when Harry's Bar invented a new dish of thinly sliced raw beef, he has also lent his name to a classic antipasto, and hence to any meat, fish or produce served raw and thinly sliced.

Because most of Carpaccio's works never left Venice, in themselves they are a pretty good reason to visit lagoon land. Little is known of his life: he was the son of Piero Scarpazza, and was born either in Istria or Venice, and changed his name to Carpaccio.

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Early Renaissance Art


Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by carulmare, Creative Commons Licence, PD Art