Giorgione's "Tempest," "Studiolo" Culture, and the Renaissance Lucretius

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Giorgione's "Tempest," "Studiolo" Culture, and the Renaissance Lucretius Author(s): Stephen J. Campbell and Giorgione Source: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 2 (Summer, 2003), pp. 299-332 Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Renaissance Society of America Stable URL:  . Accessed: 23/10/2013 07:08 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at  .  . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected].  . The University of Chicago Press and Renaissance Society of Ame rica are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Renaissance Quarterly.

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Giorgione's "Tempest," "Studiolo" Culture, and the Renaissance LucretiusAuthor(s): Stephen J. Campbell and GiorgioneSource: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 2 (Summer, 2003), pp. 299-332Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Renaissance Society of AmericaStable URL: .

Accessed: 23/10/2013 07:08

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

.JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms

of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected].


The University of Chicago Press and Renaissance Society of America are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize,preserve and extend access to Renaissance Quarterly.

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Giorgione'sempest, tudiolo ulture ndtheRenaissanceucretius*


The nventionof Giorgione's uch-interpretedpainting nown s The Tempest an beexplainedwith reference othe De rerum natura ofLucretius. ucretiusprovides he ssential onnectionbetween hemain elementsof hepainting. male lwanderer,'a ightning olt, roken olumns,naked, nursingfemale, nd a landscape enderedaccording omomentary, leeting ppearances.The nvention f thepainting lso responds o the wayLucretiuswas read round 1500, to thespecific nterestsof thepoet'sRenaissance eaders nd imitators, nd to forms f e'-cultivationassociated ith he

ownership fastudiolo.

Very ightly,herefore,wrote] ucretius, hen epraised imwhofirstdiscoveredisdom,ut his neptly, ecause ethoughtt wasdiscoveredymanjustasthoughthatmanhomhepraisedhadfoundherlyingsomewher

'legsowardhe ource'as hepoetsay.'- Lactantius


uch recent riting iorgione's empest Fig 1.)conveys he mpressionof wishing to staunch the prolific flow of interpretations. ittle

conveys he sense of anything ained from revious ommentaries n thepainting, r from he rich ontextual xplorations f Venetian ulture uchresearch has often nvolved. Many suggestive nsights, resulting frominvestigation f the painting's visual sources, ts possible references ocontemporary ircumstances, ts uriously rchetypal haracter, avebecomeburied, withheld from ater investigation by an impulse to closurecharacteristic f

conographicaltudies.An ironic enseof


haunted many discussions f this painting f gathering arkness, ogetherwith gloomy metacritical eflections n the interpretative roject of arthistory tself, nd discussions f the Tempest ave for ome epitomized hediscipline n tsmost benighted tate.' The present ssay, hich ddresses he

*1would like to thank aynie Anderson, Shane Butler, and Ann Kuttner for theirinvaluablehelp with this project.

'Lactantius, 3.14,197. Original text n Lactantius, ols. 0386c-0387a: Rectius taqueLucretius, um eum laudat, qui sapientiam rimus nvenit: ed hoc inepte, uod ab homine

inventam putavit. Quasi vero llam alicubi acentem homo ille, quem laudabat, nvenerit,tanquam tibias ad fontem, ut poetae aiunt. All subsequent translations re mine unlessotherwise pecified.

'For the Tempest iterature s case study of art history's nease with its own "harshhermeneutics" hich "set side whatever s partial, eiled, uperseded, nd even ncorrect nfavor f the single nswer," eeElkins, 27-48.

Renaissanceuarterly 6 (2003):299-332 [ 299 1

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FIGURE 1. Giorgione, The Tempest.Venice, Galleria dell'Accademia di Belle Arti.Alinari/Art Resource, New York.

meaning of the painting through a redefinition of its cultural context, inev-

itably adds to an already over-encumbered bibliography on Giorgione, but itwill also make a case for the merit of several previous interpretations, and fortheir value as cultural history. Far from maintaining that all previous read-


"Wrong,"it will show that several at least

pointtowards a kind of

common ground, a particular context of reception not unique to Venice inthe 1500s but achieving a particularly developed form there. While the

project of interpretation has been rather narrowly conceived as the solutionof what has been presumed to be a puzzle or enigma, it might be more mean-

ingfully defined as a tracing of a work's embeddedness in a cultural milieu,and it is finally towards an understanding of the latter that the more useful

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interpretationsend. n this ense, he trongest ork n the painting assought oalign t bothwith he racticesf rt ollectinground 500, ndwith Venetian iterary ulture.3 ome have proposed ts classification s apoesia, hat s,as a painted quivalent or poem, or a work which producesccpoetic" effects hrough ainterly eans.' Less certain, owever, s the exactbasisaccording o which the Tempest an be designated "painted poem."Poesia s presumed o be a genre n itself n this ense, he trongest ork nthe painting assought oalign t both with he rather han s manifestingany relation o the genres f iterary omposition, r to the contested ignif-

icanceof poetry uring heyears f Giorgione's ctivity. In what follows,Giorgione's ainting will be identified ith humanist heory nd practiceofpoesia round 1500,but a conceptionwhichwould also have been mean-ingful or hefirst wner f the picture, heVenetian atrician nd collectorGabrieleVendramin 1484-1552).

Precisely t the time when Giorgione was painting, wocenturies fdebate regarding he tatus f the poetic rt were ulminating n increasinglyelaborate ttempts oestablish hemorality, ivilizing enefit, nd claim totruth f poetry, hich centered n the reading nd imitation f one of themost controversial nd sensational f all ancient poetic texts: he De rerumnatura f Lucretius.' he humanist esponse oLucretius, heconception fthe function f poetry nd the field of poetic practice nabled by the Dererum atura, ereprovides heprincipal imension or heunderstandingof Giorgione's ainting. ucretius, longwith Virgil,wasby 1500becomingcentral o a humanist oncept f reading oetry s a moral formation f theself, centered on private reflection nd contemplative detachment. nVenice, uch an ethical nd pedagogical otion of reading ad emerged s a

response to a long-standing disdain for poetry on the part of the city'sintelligentsia. ne of the characteristic roducts f Venetian humanism n

3ForGiorgionendthe ulture f ollectingn the ircle f Gabriel endraminndhisacquaintances,eeAnderson, 27-89;for ecent ork n Giorgione nd iterary ulture nVenice nd theVeneto, ee for xample),he ssaysnLaletteratura,arappresentazione;lsoRosand, ettieri, ochmann, ndNova.

'For example,heard, ndAnderson, 4-49."'Genre" stobe understood ere ot nthe ighly odifiedense n which twas pplied

to ater cademic ainting, ut sa historicaloolwhichwas mployedocircumscribereasof ffinity ithin ndbetween ormsf ultural roduction. etermination fgenre erewillnonethelessraw ponRenaissanceiterary ategories,mprecise,rovisional,nddisputedthough hese ere. orgenre s a device f retrospective"istoricalriticismeeFowler,ndColie.For he mplicationsfgenre n Lucretius,eeConte, -34.

6Forthe ontroversieseeGarin, d., 1958, specially3-71;Trinkaus, 55-71;Robey,7-25;on the tate f he uestion round 500 n taly eePrete, 1-23 ndE Gilbert I amgrateful oUna Roman 'Eliafor eferring eto this rticle).

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the Quattrocento ad been heOrationesontrapoetas

1455)of ErmolaoBarbarohe lder I410-7 ),anunsparing emonstrationf hemendacity

Y7anduselessnessfpoetr Two earned enetianontemporariesfVendramain, ietro uirini 1478-1514)ndPaoloGiustiniani1476-1528), ereequally nsparingn their ensure f profane iteraturen a pamphlet d-

8dressed oLeoX in 1513. YetGabriele endramin aintained inks oamore ositive ulture f reading hrough isknown ontacts ith umanistscholars f ntiquity, hrough is uthorship f poem bout t. ThomasAquinas, nd also through isownership f camerinor tudiolo, spacewhere he dentity fprivate eadernd mateur cholar oincided ith hatof ollector. eadingndcollectingouldboth e rationalized ccordingothe ame irtuous nd,which as he etachment f he mind rom orldlycares nd perturbations.

Adecorated,ntimate pace alled amerino,tudiolo,r tanzino,ndde-voted oreading nd collecting, as a feature f many ristocratic ndprincely ouseholdsy1500. 0Giorgione'sainting asfirst ncounterednthe amerino elle ntigaglie the ittle hamber f ntiquities in the

home f Gabriel endramin, hoelsewhereeferredo "elmio tudio verChamerin.1 DoraThornton ndPaulaFindlen ave oth ecentlyemon-strated heways nwhich he domestic tudiolo nd camerinoerved s aspatial xpression f henotion f he rivatendividual.2 Privacynd ndi-

'On the enerallyensoriousrutilitarian ttitudes opoetry mong enetian umanistsseeKing, 57-61; ee lsoKallendorf, ith iscussionfBarbaro t 126-30.On BarbaroeealsoCampbell, 997, 0, andRobey, 0-21.

'On theLibellusadLeonemXPontificemMaximumandts uthors eeEGilbert, 83-90;on GiustinianindQuirini ee lsoMassa.

9Seehe tatement yPaoloManuzio uoted elow,nd he ext ecentlyited y rancoBaccheiiinwhich he errarese elioGiraldi ddressesis olleagueelioCalcagnini. iraldidiscusseshe ctivity f ontemplation,ndwhether his anbe better acilitated yreadingorby ooking t pictures; eprovocativelyuggestshat The tudy f etters snotborn romnature, ut s the result f violence one to nature." Madness nd error ome from nexaggeratedractice fwriting ndreading, nd nexcessiveurning ver ndover he agesofbooks." letters, hey ell s,help s to xpresshe ensationsnd houghtsf he mind. etdoesnot ainting erhaps othis etter? en f etters hemselvesmploy ainting hen heyhave o speak bout omething hat sextremelyifficult oremember,r omething hich

literary escriptionlone annot dequatelyxpress. heydo this, y heir wn dmission,because ainting nd magerymprint n themselvesnd n others he orms f things oreclearlyndmore ruthfullyhan etters o."Progymnasmadversusitterast itteratos,uotedandtranslatednBacchelli,33.

loThe tandard ccount sbyLiebenwein;ee lsoThornton.1Fordocumentationn the ublic areer ndcollectingctivity fGabriel endramin,

seeBattilotti ndFranco, 4-68.On Vendramin'sollectionee lsoRav.12Thornton, -7;127;Findlen, 93-346.

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viduality ere rivilegeshat ame with he wnership nd eadership fhousehold nd especially,s we might urmise n Vendramin's ase,withmembershipnanelite oliticallass. et eginning ith he ristocratic tu-dioliof the fifteenth entury, his ame pacewas also the ite where hecultivated elf had been produced nd put on display or n audiencethrough he ccumulation f precious bjects dvertising he aste nd re-finement f their wner, nd through ainting n mythological r poeticthemes here henormally rivate nd nterior xperiencef reading asgiven visible, ntersubjective,nd social form.13 he self ouldbe con-

structed nd revealed hrough hemute ut richly quivocalanguage fpainting ndsculpture, efining he wner's personalpace" ven nhisorher bsence: endramin ookpains oensure hat he precious ollectioncontained ithin ndbeyond is tudy ould emainntact thisdeath. hewalls nd shelves f the tudy, nother ords, rojected version f he n-terior ife f ts chief ccupant, lbeit version ometimes roduced ncollaboration ith iterarypecialistsnd n he anguagefpoeticnvention.

Theassimilationf collectingoreading nd tovirtuous cholarlyei-

surewasfrequentlyrticulatedn opposition o a long-standing umanistpolemic gainst hevanity nd superficialityf nyprofession fvirtue rdistinction hrough he wnership f things.'4 umanists ccasionallye-plored he urning f books nto uxury ommoditieshrough heir avishornamentation,nd the general onversionf cholarly isciplinento ris-tocratic orms f display." n one well-known nstance, aoloManuzio(1512-74)foundhimself aving oinsist, n a letter f 1552to AndreaLoredan, hat Loredan's ollections f antiquitieswere not materialgoods .. a gemwhich ne may btain t a price" ut "virtuous iches"which will earwitness oyour inemind, nd o your ery oble houghts,in future enturies."16t sspecially oteworthyhatManuzio roclaimshepossessionnd contemplation f ntiquities osurpass ven he reading fancient uthors s a means fknowing he ast: lookingntently t uch b-jects, negathersnthemind s much nowledgenashort pan fhours s

13As argued n Campbell, 2000.14For the tension n elite consumer ulture ccasioned by anxiety bout materialism,

seeSysonand Thornton, specially 3-36.

15See the discussion of Angelo Decembrio in Campbell, 1997, 22-23, and inThornton, 01.

16Manuzio, 72r-v: Questi non sono beni materiali, he con semplice atica i acquistino;non e gemma, che per pezzo si ottenga: queste sono ricchezzevirtuose, he a gl'idioti nontoccano, ma solamente col giudicio, con l'ingegno, on infinita cienza in molto spatio ditempo si raccolgono. Queste del bello animo vostro, de'vostri nobilissimi pensieri 'futurisecoli chiara estimonianza aranno. See discussion f this passage n Thornton, 113-14,andin Schmitter, 3-24.

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one does fter ears f reading ivy nd Polybius,ndall the ncient isto-rians ut ogether."7

Placedmongst is amous ollectionf ncient ragments,endramin'spainting yGiorgione ouldhave poken o him nd to hisvisitors f hisown elationshipohis ollection. swe hall ee, twas n mage f hat eryprinciple hrough hich t the nd fhis ife ewouldustify is nvestmentincollecting.nhiswill f 1548,he ustifiedhe reservationfhis ollectionofpaintings nd antiquities most f ll because hey avebrought littlepeace ndquiet omy oulduring hemany abors fmind nd body hat

have nduredn conductinghe amily usiness"; eexpressedhehope invain, s t turned ut)that is ollection e held ntact or he dification ffuture homeni tudiosi evirt U."8Thepleasurefforded y uch hings asnot to be seen s base, cquisitive leasure, ut according o a morally-beneficialdeaofpleasure. endramin, member f distinguishedamilywhodevoted uch fhis ife opublic ndfamily usiness, as neof everalpatricians ho ought oassociate imself,spatron ndcollector, ith hecontemporary enetian orld f classicalcholarshipnd antiquarianism,counting ernardo embo 1433-1519) mong is cquaintancesnd theyounger rmolao arbaro 1453/54-92)mong isrelatives.19n the ametestament,fter xhorting isnephewsomaintain he tudy fnaval trategyandnavigation, e nsisted hat hey not bandon he tudy f etters."n1540 he rchitect nd heorist ebastianoerlio1475-1554)emarkedhatVendramin, a most evere astigator f things icentious," as one of themen f his gemost quipped oappreciatehe rchitectural rinciples fVitruvius.20 mong ther aintings yGiorgione, endraminwned workknown s The ducation fMarcusAurelius,gain uggestinghat endramin

found ffirmation f hisownmorally igorous utlook n the thical nd21pedagogicalegacy f he ncient hilosophers.

The Tempests not simply passive roduct f this lite ulture fcollecting,ut, ike he ollector'samerino,t s tself n active roducer fculturaldentity orts wner, nexpressionnvisual nd angibleorm f he

"Manuzio, 72r: le quai cose con attento pensiero particolarmente iguardando, antebellenotizie n poche hore nelia mente raccolsi, he ne Livio,ne Polibio,ne tutto e historieinsieme havevano altrettanto in molti anni potuto insegnarmi. See discussion by


"Translation from Chambers and Pullan, eds., 429. Original text n Battilotti ndFranco, 7.

'90n Vendramin's ntellectualmilieu, eeIbid. and Settis, 42-59.20Serlio,1540, 1.3.155, quoted n Battilotti nd Franco, 6. In the previous earGabriel,

alongwithJacopo ansovino,had evaluated hepaintings or n altardesigned ySerlio n thechurch f the Madonna della Galliera n Bologna.SeeAnderson, 64, with bibliography.

21On this painting eeAnderson, 98, and Lucco, 11-29.

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values freading, ollecting,nd ontemplation. utbefore ecan stablishthe relation f the mageto such concerns,we must first ddress heinterpretativeradition f Giorgione's ainting, nd the problems aised ythe earliest eferences o the mage.The gentleman nd connoisseurMarcantonio ichiel, homadehighly electiveotes n llustrious rivatecollections f his time, eferredn 1530 to "El paesetto n tela cun latempesta,un a cingana t oldato"the ittle andscapen canvaswith hestorm, ith he gypsy nd soldier). 1569descriptionn an inventory fVendramin'sollectionsmore ursorynddiffersn everalarticulars:una




ponte" agypsy, shepherdn little

landscape ith bridge)." learly he enderingf andscape aswhatwasimportant o these arlier iewers,nd their escriptions f the figures ssoldier, ypsy,nd hepherduggestshat hey aw hese s "attributes"f helandscape.

The Tempest,robably ainted ot ongbefore iorgione's eath n151 , is ndeed nprecedentedn talian rt n tsrendering f thenaturalworld n n nstantaneous oment f hiftingppearances, anifestinghatone writer as called new phenomenologicalesponseo the problem ftime. The only omparable ork o pursue he ame ffects s LorenzoLotto's portrait-cover n the Washington National Gallery, whichsignificantlymploys he lements f tmospheric,loud-ladenandscapenthe ervice f allegory.' Giorgione's icture asbeen qually ffectivenpersuadingtsmodern nterpretersn onehand hat t s an allegoryo bedeciphered,nd on the other hat t sa strikingly odern enderingflandscape, ith igures,or ts wn ake: man with staff, ressedn whiteshirt ith rnate ose nd breeches,ausesna darkeningandscapeo ook

inthe irection f nearly-nakedoman eated t the urtherdge f poolor tream hich ivideshe oreground.hewoman urses child, nd ooksnot towards he man, but in the direction f the beholder. uch anacknowledgment laces heviewer t the pexof a triangle, t an equalfictional istance rom he maleand female igures.We are notionallyseparated rom hem y hewater n the mmediate oreground,ust sthissame ody fwater solateshe womain iguresrom ach ther. ehind heman, pair f broken olumns ppears, longwith portion fwallwithmarble evetment. n the ackgrounds a fortified ity, tswalls lluminated

"The references n Michiel's Notizia dopere di disegno nd the 1569 Vendramininventory re both cited n Settis, 5-56. The majority f art historians ave considered uchreferences o be far rom dequate as an account of the picture's ubject r of the ocial dentityof the male and female figure; olberton, 1991 and 1995, argues therwise.

21P. Brown, 227.24As noted by B. L. Brown n a comment n the reception f German landscapemodes

in earlyCinquecento Venice, n Renaissance enice nd the North, 38.

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by hemeteorologicalvent hich asgiven he aintingtsname a flashof ightningignallinghe nset f tempest.

While ome nterpretersave ocusedn the ncounter f he womainfigures o dentify biblical r classicalubject Adam nd Eve,Mars ndVenus, anae),others ave crutinizedhe icture or hidden r hermeticsignificance.2' or heseatter eadingshe aintingsseen odepict he ourelements designated ythe pool, the moist arth, hedense, hurningclouds, he ightning olt), r to llustrate philosophicaldage Harmoniaestdiscordia oncors), r againto allude to astrological nd alchemical


knowledge. or thers, he hilosophicalimensionncorporateshe ealmof rtistic oncerns; iorgione'srt s associated ith "scientific" entality,the nvestigationndunprecedentedepresentationf the ptical ffects fparticular eather onditions.2' More recently, ertain marginal ndindistinct etails re een oconnect he magery ith hepredicament fVenice uring hewars f 1508-10.Butthishistorical eadingnevitablyresorts gain o principle f llegory:he empesttself ecomes metaphorfor he "storm f war"and for he ortuna f Venice. Stillothers ave

attempted o coordinate hepolitical eading, hich equires certainexegeticalngenuity, ith strologicalndhermeticnterpretation.1Suchreadings osuLyyest ays n which Cinquecento bserver ay

havemade ense f such highly-chargedequence f probably amiliarpoetic topoi: a wanderer whose proper domain s the city, femalecharacterizeds a mother nd closely ssociated ith "Wild" andscapenwhich he our lements re ndeed resentedhrough spectacularynamicinterplay.t hasrecently eennoted, or nstance,hat he motif fwandererinconfrontation ith maternal emaleccursntwo exts hich

pitomizethemost xperimentalendenciesncontemporaryernaculariterature:heprose-romancenown s the Hypnerotomachiaoliphili, ublished yAldus

25Adam nd Eve sthe ubjectdentified y ettis; upiterndDanaebyParronchi,nLaNazione, 4September 976 cited n Settis, 8)while he ubject f Mars ndVenuswasrevived ith hermetic ast n Cioci.For recent strologicaleadingeeCarroll.

26For nterpretationsn terms fnatural hilosophy,eeTschmelitsch,966, nd 1975,240-65.For n inventive ecent eprisalf the philosophicaldage n discordia oncors,ee

Sheard.21Sheard, 54-57.28SeeHoward, ndKaplan. or he strologicaleformulationf his osition eeCarroll.

For criticism f theposition hich cceptsMichiel'sdentificationf themale iguresasoldier,eeHale,416: "Whoeverompiledhe nventory fGabriele endramin's'Camerinodelleantigaglie' n 1569described heyoung man more understandably, f still notconvincingly,sashepherd.. explanationshat urn n the igure,r he moral r llegoricalassociations,f soldier remistaken."

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29 as well as Jacopo Sannazaro' Arcadia, a pastoral work inn 1499 (Fig. 2) , s

prose and verse which appeared in Naples in 1504, but which was widely readthroughout Ital Y.30 We are confronted by poetic signs and motifs which callfor interpretation; but such interpretation can proceed in any number of

ways (like any of those just described) unless we can determine what poetickindwe are dealing with here, a framing principle of poetic genre which couldset reasonable limits to interpretation.

The Tempest has sometimes been classed as a poesia, on the basis of a

passage in a 1548 treatise on painting by Paolo Pino which called for paintersto observe a kind of

metonymic brevityand

improvisatory techniqueanalogous to the poets "in their comedies and other compositions."31 yet

Pino also characterized painting as poetry in terms which would have been

quite acceptable to Leon Battista Alberti, or Mantegna, or Raphael, or to atradition of artists and writers who understood the analogy of painting and

poetry according to a principle of invention deriving from ancient rhetoric:"la pittura "epropriapoesia, cio'e invenzione."32 However, those who identifyGiorgione's painting with his poesia have often asserted the self-sufficiency ofhis imagery, as if it were poetic only according to a rather narrow sense of

poetic invention grounded in the vernacular lyric.3

A related claim is that theTempest participates in - even inaugurates - a kind of pure genre painting,and that it could be classed with a series of depictions of family-like groupsin landscapes from around 1510-15, such as the Landscape with Halbardier,Woman and Two Children from the Palma Vecchio circle (Fig. 3) and the

Nursing Mother with Halbardier in a Landscape attributed to Titian (Fig. 4).However, while these other Venetian works correspond in some formal

respects to Giorgione's picture, there is no consequent basis for the assertionthat they reproduce its subject and its meaning. The Tempest manifests a

singularity, even a deep strangeness, which cannot be explained away orreduced to generic terms.

"On the relation o the Hypnerotomachia.,eemost recently nderson, 65-72."Most suggestive ere re Lettieri, nd Emison, 64-76."See the observations yAnderson, 4-49.32Pino, I 15, makes lear hat when he departs romAlberti t son technical nd not on

conceptualgrounds: E perch6 a pittura propriapoesia., io invenzione, a qual fa apparerequelloche non "e, er"Otil arebbe sservare lcuni ordini letti dagli altri oeti che scrivono,

i quale nelle oro comedie et altre composizionivi introducono a brevit"a."33See C. Gilbert, 212-13, Wittkower, Hope. Emison, 66, writes hat "although thepainting hares ffinities ith narrative, llegory nd genre, t belongs nstead o a new and essformalized kind of pictorial musing, closer than anything o low-style oetry not anyspecific iece, but in general." The account n Sheard of the Tempesta s apoesia., frugal npresentation, rofligate n meaning," is in this sense exceptional; while arguing for thepainting's utonomy nd independence rom external exts," heconcedes capacity ornon-literal nd allusivemeaning which these ther ommentators ould disallow.

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. ...............

. ..... .. ..777


FIGURE 2. From Francesco Colonna, Hvpnerotomachia Poliphili. Venice, AldusManutius, 1499, part IZ 8r. The George Peabody Library, Johns HopkinsUniversity.

Formalresemblance lone is an unreliable asis on which to determinesignificance; onversely, hedifferences etween he Tempestnd the works tmost closelyresembles re more telling.

4 For instance, s John Hale has3'The entral roblemnthe ccount f ettis, 5,whoderives is understandingf he

work s Adam nd Eve on the basisof a generic esemblanceo a relief f this ubject nBergamo.

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FIGURE 3. Follower of Palma Vecchio, Landscape with Halbardier, Woman and TwoChildren. Philadelphia Museum of Art, purchased with the W P. Wilstach Fund.

pointed out, the inclusion in these other images of a figure with the clearlydesignated attributes of a soldier is a fair indication that the male figure in

Giorgione's picture is not a soldier.35 Nor is there any probability that he is a

shepherd; the figure resembles a patrician youth of Giorgione's own time, andwe might surmise that costume here serves primarily to mark him as a city-dweller who has now wandered away from the city.31 X%ile the Cambridgeand Philadelphia paintings appear to configure the man, woman, and childas a family group, this is, however, no necessary basis for seeing the Tempestas representation of a family. While the confrontation of a young clothedmale and a female in a "state of nature" might indeed imply a recent or

imminent sexual interaction, at the same time the figures appear not onlyspatially but psychologically isolated; it is by no means apparent that they areaware of each other.

"Hale, 518.36 On the costume, identified as that of a member of a compagnia della calza, see

Anderson, 165-68. On the costume of the compagnie ee Venturi 908a, especially 08-13.

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FIGURE4. Attributed o Titian, An Idyll:A Mother nd a Halbardier n aWooded andscape. oggArt Museum, Harvard University rt Museums.

Given that both sixteenth-century eferences re inaccurate n theircharacterization f the male figure, e might wonder what to make of theirconception f the woman as a cingana, r gypsy.While the man s inscribed

with a social identity albeit an ambiguous one) through is costume, hewoman seems strangely placeless" n terms f social category r literarygenre, nd perhaps his s the reasonwhy he was assigned he dentity f anomad, ne who dwells verywhere nd nowhere, either roperly f the itynor of the country. er depiction with nursing hild clearly istinguishesher from mages of the female nude in "Arcadian" andscapes,which arelargely haracterized n terms f their rotic ppeal; at the same time, her

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placidnudity n the ace f gatheringtormmightmake s wonder boutthe elation ecentlyroposed o the ontemporaryocial ealityf gypsies,camp-followers, nd "primitives" a point discussed elow).37WhileGiorgione may indeed have drawn upon Netherlandish or Germanlandscape rints s models whichwould have been familiar o his spectators,he may have done so precisely ecausehe wanted his spectators onoticecrucial differencen his invention, hespecificity f the Tempest's ictorialsyntax.Michielmayhavebeen ed to his own description f the painting ythe popularity f his enre, hich ometimes hows outsiders" r bohemian

figures, ut he clearly nderlined he unique elementwhich s not found nany of the closest pictorial analogues for the Tempest, r found in itsimitations: hestorm tself. 1

2. "THE LAW AND AsPECT OF THE SKY"The great lassical ocusfor he discussion f storms nd lightning s the Dererum atura f Lucretius,where torms re presented lmost defiantly snatural henomena, evoidofportent r supernatural ignificance. sa poet

of nature who attacked uperstition, ucretius was at precisely his timebecoming mportant n a definition f the function nd vocation f the poetin which Virgil emained hecentral igure, nd it sthrough he"Virgilian"understanding f poetry hat Lucretiuswould have become known to hisnorth talian udience. AsCraig Kallendorf asrecently hown, hereadingofVirgil n moral nd therapeutic ermswasespecially revalent nVenice nthe atefifteenth nd early ixteenth enturies. ' The marginal nnotations fVenetian eaders tudied yKallendorf llcorrespond ith n understandingofVirgil, nd ofhis place n the moralorganization f private ife,whichhadbeencharacteristic f merchant-writers nd humanists n Florenceduring heprevious century: endeavor to study Virgil, Boethius, Seneca or other

"From what an be understoodbout gypsyconography'n the ixteenth entury, tseems hatwhile one nd apparently omeless omenwith hildren ight ometimes avebeen dentified sgypsies, more onstant dentifying eature as n exotic r extravagantquality,n ppearancef foreignness"ndress rdemeanor.n 1475 he oldsmith aradossoFopparegistered is rademarkn Milanwith he oldsmitEsuild: Lazingola on o putoinante hefa a morescha."rown nd Hickson, 6 (I amgrateful o LukeSyson or his

reference).t s my ense hat he ery nomaly f he ppearancef he woman nd child edto her ssignment o a category hichwasconceived o accommodate widerange fanomalousndmarginal uman eings. ormore n gypsieseeHolberton, 995, lthoughnoneof Holberton'sconographicxamplesusually urbanned nd heavily lad)bear nyparticular esemblanceoGiorgione'sigure. nderson, 65, ites oerio's 856Dizionario eldialetto eneziano here to ook ike cingana" erely eans ohave ne'shair nkempt.

3'For n examinationf he genre, eeGoldfarbndHale.39Kallendorf,1-124.

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authors or t east n hour very ay, s fyouwere till nschool. his willresult n great enefit o your mind: by studying heteachings f theseauthors, ou hall now owyou hould ct nyour resentife, oth or hehealth fyour oul nd for he sefulnessndhonor f your ody ... whenyou ome f ge ndyour ntellect egins osavor he eason or hings ndthe weetness f knowledge, ou hall erive s much leasure ut of t, smuch elight, smuch onsolation syoudo out of nythingn the world."This writer, heFlorentine erchant iovanni agoloMorelli writingbetween 393and 1421),hadsingled ut Virgil sansweringo the most

pressing eedsserved y study nd meditation: he will answer ourquestions ndwill dvise nd teach ou t no cost whatsoever;eshall akeaway ourmelancholyhoughts,ndgive oupleasurendconsolation."40

Around 500, nVenice nd lsewhere,irgil as entral odiscussionsofpoetry s a form f knowledge hich nimates nd discloses ts ruthsthrough he eils f figurativeanguage. ristoforo andino 1425-98)hadargued or he placeof Virgil nd Dante in the moral ormation f theindividual, hileAngelooliziano1454-94)ndCodroUrceo1446-1500)celebrated omer ndVirgil sencyclopedicuthorities,scompendioussnature tself. 1 But n Gian GiovianoPontano's ialogues f the 1490s,AegidiusndActius, he xample f LucretiusscoupledwithVirgil n anargument or he hilosophicalmportance fpoetry, ndfor he evelatoryforce f ublime oetic iction nd sensuous mages n transformingheconsciousness f a reader. n the period f ntense ucretian tudy ndpublication ithwhich he entury pens, t was ncreasinglypparent oRenaissanceommentators hatVirgil adhimself rawn eavily n Dererum atura.2 It s the ery oemwhich ould ccupy he pace etweenhe

epic ndthe clogue,ombining he cale nd elevatedisionarytyle f heformer ith hehistoricalnd"meta-poetic"ompass f he atter. ontano(1422-1503)wasone of everal umanist oetswho ought odefend he

40Morelli, 51-52.; translation n Merchant Writers, 0-71; also cited n Liebenwein, 2.41On the philosophical mport f poetic anguage n Landino and Pontano, eeGrassi,

37-41, 57-61. For Poliziano on Homer see his Nutricia n Poliziano,147,11.476 ff. On theintellectually-embattled ontext f the Nutricia nd Poliziano's iew of poetry eeGodman,70-79. In his Actius Pontano discusses he poet's bility ocharge nature with the quality f

inspiring wonder, which nature n itself oes not possess:"ut, cum poetica sicut historiaconstet ebus c verbis, is utrisque oeta ad admirationem onciliandamnon utatur modo,verum tiam nnitatur. uamobrem, uod veritas raestare ocsolaminus posset, eritatemnunc inumbrant fictis abulosisquecommentis, nunc ea comminiscuntur uae omninoabhorreant vero atque a rerum natura." Pontano, 1943, 234-35. See also the discussion fPoliziano and Pontano with reference lso to Joseph Scaliger'sPoetics n Galand-Hallyn,189-223.

42Raimondi, 656-57.

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worth fpoetry y urning rom legy nd pigram o more idacticmodels,such s the Lucretian hilosophical oem;these lso included orenzoBonincontri 1410-91) in Naples, Bartolomeo cala (1430-97) andPoliziano in Florence, nd Baptista Mantuanus ca. 1447-1516) inMantua.43 here was no greater roof f the ntrinsic eriousness f poetrythan demonstrations f ts capacity ohandle more weighty ubject-matter,and in the fulfillment f a three-fold im clarified by Pontano: to give

44pleasure, o create wonder, nd to instruct. His astrological oem Urania(composedbetween 1475 and 1503) waswritten o demonstrate hat the

Musesteach cience, nd that lassical mythology, andledwith onsiderablelicense by the poet, could reveal he order of the cosmos itself. ontano'spoetic mission, xplicitly ashioned fter hat of Lucretius, was describedsuccinctly n an earlier ollection of shorter and mainly morous) verse

45known s Parthenopeus1.6:25-30)Then, rovidedhat live, s an old man eaning ver he Castalianpring willwetmy ipswith he acred aters, nd will elate he rrangementf he ourelementshroughmagesfiguris. Fire irst, fter hat he lace f ir. hen he

4'For various spects f the polemic eeGrassi, nd Gaisser, nd A. Brown, on Scala'sDearboiibus).44In Aegidius ontano writes Poetae officium, i fallor, ribus n his praecipuevertitur:

ut doceat, ut delectet, ut moveat .. Virgilius gitur c Lucretius, quo auditorem ad seraperent, b ipso statim nitio usi sunt principlis maxime ucundis ac festivis; evesatietas,quaeinter arrandum ocendumque olet brepere, n discessu uditorem omitaretur, xitusquoque librorum maiore etiam festivitate ondivere usibusquerefersere ucundioribus." nActius he praises Lucretius along with the writers f "rerum naturam generi hominumcarmine": Christe ptime, quid copiae, quid ornatus, uantus e clarissimis uminibus iusemicat n altero splendor Rapit quo vult ectorem, robat ad quod intendit, umma cum

subtilitate t artificio, ortatur, eterret, ncitat, etrahit, emum omnia cum magnitudine,ubiopus estatquedecoro, t hacde qua disputatum st dmiratione." ee Pontano, 1943, 263,238. SeealsoGrassi, 7-41.

4'Tunc ego Castalias vivam modo) pronus d undas / perfundam ancto abra liquoresenex / quattuor et referam digesta elementa figuris, primum gnis. Post hunc aeris esselocum, / terra it ut media mundi regione ocata / nixa suis opibus, pondere tuta suo, /intervalla enensdistantia artibus eque / bruta quidem et solido sorte recepta oco, / quempater Oceanus spumantibus bluit undis / amplectans media dissociatquefreto; sint duopraeterea, uorum sublimis ab arcto, / mus ab opposito dicitur axe polus; / hos circumimmensi volvatur machina mundi / nec tamen impositum sentiat axis onus; / deniquegignendis uaenam sint emina rebus, / unde suosortus dita quaeque trahant; unde pavorcervis, abiesatque ira eonum, / raucaquecur cornix, t bene cantet lor; / quid calidifontesimbri, uid noctibusAmmon / ferveat t medio frigeat sque die; / quem dederit ebus inemnatura reandis; / Centauri numquid Scylla vel esse queant; / cur non Luna suo, sed fratrisluceat igni; / quid vehat et Procyon, uid vehat ortus Equi. / Felices nimae fatis melioribususae, / cura quibus primis alianosse fuit; / non illis studium gemmae, non dira cupido /divitis ut auri erniciosa itis, sed superum asto rimabant ectore emplum: quis superisnunc est vita beata ocis.Pontano, 1948, 72-73.

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earth, laced t center f he osmos y he orce f ts wn might, olding n

equaldistance n allsides, tolidlymaintaining heplaceallotted o it andwashed y ather ceanuswithwaves nd foam, nddivided y body fwaterembracingtsmiddle. here re wo parts, fwhich heupper s named romthe north oleand the ower rom he pposite. round hese re urned hemachine f he mmense osmos, s f he xis elt o burden. hen shall ellof he eeds f he generation f hings ndfrom hence verything raws tslofty rigin from hence he imidity f he eer, he agendferocity f helion,why he row ings arshlynd he wan weetly, hich ind f pringsrehot ndwhy he arth might ewarm t night nd cold t midday. will eekout the nd which ature ssigned o all created hings, hether entaurs rScyllaan xist, hy hemoon s it by he ight f ts rother ndnot f ts wn,andthe rigins f he onstellationsfProcyonndtheHorse. t wasonce hechief are fblessed ouls f better estiny o know uch hings; otfor hemthe ursuit fgems rdesire orwealth, utwith haste earts heynvestigatedthe emple f he ky. 45)

In his ttack n practitionersf ensuousndpagan erse, ontrapoetasimpudiceoquentesI 500), the Carmelite aptistaMantuanus rovided

similar ist f philosophicalhemes or oetry, hrough hich oets ouldavoid he Prostitution"f heMuses nd the commerce"fVenus:There s the Three-Person odeternally orthy fpraise, rom hich he irstseeds f hings ave heir irth, he tellar ffspring f pirits nd the enfoldheavens,hemotions f he tars nd their multiple athways,he ouls f hedivine nes which irtue ndows ith hining ther, ho re alled aints ndmartyrs ... There re the lements hich estow ubstance'ontransitorythings, ndfeed heir ternal eath; he hings hich he ir brings orth, hosetowhich he eagives irth, rwhich he wonder-workingarth roduces romits richwomb; hemany-coloredace f he fields nd the rested orests,hemany-voiced irds nd the multi-wandering easts; here re the parts fwisdom, ngeniousmathematics, nd the itigious ords f the clamorousforum, ndthe ives fmen; hese re ccupations orthy fpoetry, hemanyactions onducted npublic nd nprivate."46

46Estdeusest trinum emper audabile umen, unde rahunt erum emina rimagenus pirituum obolesaelique ecemplicisstra, strorumque icesmultiplicesqueiae/Sunt nimae ivum itido uos ethere irtus donat thos anctos ndigetesqueocant tquaemateriam raebentlementaaducis Rebus aeternae ant limenta eci ... Sunteaquaeprofert er, uae parturit equor Quaegenerat ingui aedala erra inu/ Multicolorfaciesgri ilvaequeomantesMultisonaeolucres ultivagaequeerae unt ophiae artesest ngeniosamathesis verbaque lamosiitigiosa ori Sunt hominum itae; unt ignanegocia ersu plurima esta oris, lurima esta omi. aptista antuanus, 17-20, 31-38.On the oem eeGaisser,30,who ituates antuanus' emand ithin ontroversiesn theimitation f icentious ncient oets uch s Catullus.

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It s noteworthy hat espite heCarmelite oetsopposition oEpicurean-ism,manifest n his reference oGod and the aints, n his repertoire fcosmic hemes eexplicitly vokes ucretius ith he phrase curiously-wrought arth" daedala erra)."

In the iscussionnGiorgione hat ollows,t sproposed hat consid-eration f the Tempestn relation o such eflections n the cope f poetryallows or reading hichmight emore ncompassinghan reviousn-terpretationsave llowed. iven ontano'status sthe oremost umanistandLatin oet n taly y he ime fhisdeath n 1503, ndthe ublicationof Urania

longwith ther works n Venice

ytheAldine ress n

1505,hisuseofLucretius o conceive f thevocation f poetwasvery robablyknown o Giorgione'sircle ndtohispatrons. nnotations n three opiesof he econd enaissance dition f Lucretius, hichwasprinted nVenicein 1495,referred oPontano's wenty ears f work n the text, nd alaterVenetian dition, heGiunta f 1512,explicitly cknowledged is

41editorial ork.At east hree therGiorgionesque orks re oncerned ith visual

summation f the nature f poetry, venwith he portrayal" f variousgenres the astoral oncert,he aura nVienna, nd heHampton ourtShepherd.iven hese nterestsmong ispatrons, "portrait" fdidactic rphilosophical oetry orms very lausible ommission t this ime.49For twill be seen that the magery f the painting responds o debates on theedifying ature asopposedto the frivolity r vanity) f poetry nd, n turn,on the practices f private eading nd contemplation.

The painting, ike Pontano's Urania, is a response not only to thequestion of poetry's tatus round 1500, but to an ongoing controversy

regarding heDe rerum atura tself, hichhad had a mixed ortune ince tsrediscovery y PoggioBracciolini n 1417.5' Acclaimed or hebeauty f tsLatin tyle, heworkwasregarded ithsuspicion nd outright ostility or ts

41Compare ucretius -7: tibi uavis aedala ellus."48SeeGoddard, 991, 251,andReeve.49The astoral oncertnthe ouvre eaturesprogram hich sentirely onsistent ith

that f he more riticallyelf-consciousoets f he ime. hepainting mployshe oposfthe ource r fountainhead f poetry, hewellspring f ancient oeticwisdom ended ynymphs ho personify oesia nd Persuasion. eturning o the wellspring f ancienteloquence, hemodern oet the uteplayer n contemporary ostume engagesn aharmonious ialogue ith he Arcadianhepherd oet, confrontation hich pitomizeshevital onfluencef ncient radition ith modern ractice. eeEgan, ndKlein.

"On the irculation fLucretiusn taly eeReeve, 7-48.On the humanist eceptionofLucretiusndthe nterestnEpicureanism,eeGarin, 959; Pagnoni, ndKraye, 74-86.See alsoHadzsits, 69, for n account f the ditions f Lucretius fter he ditio rincepsof 1473.

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professionf the doctrines f

Epicurus,namely he assertion f a cosmos

devoid f Divine Providence nd the denial f he oul's mmortality." et hepoem offered oo much else that was compelling for t to be ignored. tsethical utlook f restraint nd detachment ompared onorably ith hat fthe Stoics; it was a rich repository of scientific knowledge, chieflymeteorology, hysiology, s well as what might be called sociology andpsychology; nd in tsmythological ableaux t offered hermeneutic or hestudy nd poeticuseoffable. t s n the atter imension hat he poementersthe visual culture f the ate Quattrocento: rom he 1480s, it served s a

source of nventions or mythological aintings y Botticelli nd Piero diCosimo.

52 YetRenaissance rt mayowe a great ealmore, oan extent whichremains o be examined, oa poem deeply ngaged with he nature f vision

f 53itsel The concern with vision s manifest n the elaborate xposition f atheory f perception nd cognition, of the nature of color, the relationbetween isual ensation nd imagination, nd in the text's wn strikinglyvisual character, vivid and even painterly uality which the poem's firstcommentator, riting n 1511,referred o as "drawn nd paintedwith ll thetrue



Allof the crucial lements f Giorgione's ainting wanderer, ursingnude female, uined olumns, nd, most mportantly, he ighting oltcan be accounted or hrough ucretius' oemand the pecific nterests f tsRenaissance eaders, s manifest n Pontano's mitations nd ustifications fthe "sublime" didactic genre, which instructs while inspiring awe.Nonetheless, hepainting snot n illustration f Lucretius: t s an imitation,and resembles iterary mitations f Lucretius rom he ate Quattrocentoparticularly n that lements f the poem are translated nto he terms f thecontemporary orld.Asa point of departure, t might e noted that n DanLettieri's ecent ccount of Giorgione's icture, he female igure as beenidentified s "madre universal, enigna terra," goddessof Nature or theearth nvoked by the distraught overSincero n Sannazaro'sArcadia; thegoddessappears to Sincero and disperses he stormy louds of his unruly

5'Allen, 114, notes Ficino's change of position on Lucretius, rom dmiration before1474 (De voluptate; n Philebum; TheologiaPlatonica) to condemnation thereafter, s aninsane melancholic nd as a suicide as well as a materialist).

5'On Lucretius, poetic invention, and mythological painting in Florence, seeDempsey, 2-52.

53The Lucretian erm imulacro ppears n the opticalwritings f Leonardo, to signifytransmitted ikeness, nd may lso thus be seen operating n his practice f rendering olor ndshadow n transparent ilms. ike Lucretius, e also uses the term o designate oth the mageof a desired nd powerful bject a divinity r the beloved).SeeF-arago, 80, 188.

54Pio, 167r:grafica t picturata t omnibus loquentiaepigmentis eris escriptio, n quaex professo ucretius xcelluit.

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passion." hefigure as lsobeen dentified ore han nce s the oddessVenus s she s encountered,n the orm f cult tatue ver fountain, yanother ovelorn hero - Poliphilo n the Hypnerotomachia.16othinterpretationsrefar rom ncompatible;n fact, hile hey re rgued nthe basisof contemporaneousexts Sannazaro's rcadia s well s theHypnerotomachia an associationfVenuswith Tellusmater ndprimumnatura reatrix an be found n the ommon ntertext or oth Renaissancecompositions, hich sthe e rerum atura.7The common rinciplesthatthe ontemplationf trife r turmoil inthe lements f he osmos r noneself leads o a form f


ringsn end to mental

perturbation, hether his as beenbrought n by n excess f passion nddesire, r by rrational ear.

Giorgione resents he onfrontation etweenmankind nd an indif-ferent, ut potentially iolent, atural ealm hat s central o Lucretius'poem. hepainting lsopresents,nthe ispositionf tshuman iguresx-posed o the torm, he ontemplation,quanimity,nddetachmentn theface f dversity hich re he entral thical alues reached y heLatinpoet.This erene etachment senjoined n the eader ncircumstancesfwar ndcivic urmoil hich orm he ackgroundfLucretius'writing,ndbefore hemanifestationsf cruellyndifferent ature o which umanityisnakedly xposed.Most mportantly,he ulingndrecurringmage fna-tures appalling ndifference s the storm nd the ightning olt, therandomly ecurrentumult f heaven mpty fdivine gency. he storm sthe uprememanifestation f natural henomenon hich redulous u-manity nterprets s the hostile ill f thegods, ndwhich he Epicureancalmly nd rightly onfronts san explicablend unfrighteninghenome-


thepoem he torm ooms sa

constant ign f thatwhich eepsman na state fbenightedgnorance, phenomenon eeding obedemy-thologized:n book (121 -2 )the oet sks: whosemind oes not hrinkupwith ear f the gods,whose imbs o not crawlwith error, hen hescorched arth uakes with the shivering hock of a lightning last(fulminis)nd rumblings un hrough hemighty ky?"18n thefollowingbookhe offers hat mounts o a redemption rom he error f he torm:

55Lettieri, 7.56

For the nterpretation n terms f the Hypnerotomachia oliphili recently evived yAnderson, 65-72) seeStefanini, 955.5'For Nature personified n Lucretius, ee 2:1090; 3:931; on nature s "omniparens,"

5:258, 821, 795; "primum atura reatrix," :1362; on "Tellus mater," :1150; that he arthmerits he "maternum omen," 5:821.

58Lucretius, 1982, 472. I have modified he translation f W H. D. Rouse to renderfulminis s "lightning last," which makes more sense given the subsequent reference othunder.

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"[I will xplain owthe furious torms] f winds rise, nd how they recalmed, othat ll soncemorewhat t was, hanged nd tsfury ppeased;and [Iwill xplain] ll else hat men ee happeningn earth nd sky, henthey reoften eld n suspense ith ffrighted its happenings hichabasetheir pirits hrough ear f the gods,keeping hem rushed o theearth.9

The climax f thepoem n book6 is the xplicationf torms; tspre-eminent tatus ssuggestedy he ollowingassage,ndby he ubsequentinvocationfCalliope, heMuse f serious oetry: The aw nd spect f

the ky ave o be understood;torms ndbriLrhtiLrhtningsave o be sung,what hey o, ndbywhat ause hey re et nmotion t any ime; hat oumay ot, ike ne enseless,ivide ptheheavensnto uarters, nd rembleto see from hich irection he lyingire as ome, r towhich f he wohalvesthaspassed ence.. Men reunable o ee he auses f hese orksat all, ndthink hem o be donebydivine ower.60

The torm s "pious trife"5:38,pionequaquam ello) f he lementswhich, thasbeen ointed ut, re ll portrayednGiorgione'sicture air,water, ndfire in he orm f ightning),llbearing own pon he arth we

61canhere ecall ontano's romise o deliver figura f he our lements).Springtimendautumn re heprincipal easons or hunderstorms and tis no wonder," ucretius, rites if t that ime erymany hunderboltsremade, nd turbulent empests stirred p n the ky, ince ll sconfusionwithwell-matched arfare n both ides, n this art lames,nd on that,winds nd water ommingled.61 It s striking ow his therwise minousmingling f the lements elates o the realms f optical ensation hichGiorgione ursuesnhisdistinctiveainterlyechnique.he Lucretian lux

and nteraction f elements refiguredn that tmospheric onal nity orwhich the painter s so often praised. Giorgione's endering f thisatmosphericensity hrough technique fblended,nterpenetratingayersis a product f synthetic erspectiven the natural orld, here he isualfield scomposed otofobjects ndvoid, s in previous ainting, ut s atotality f matter. ky nd air havebeenrendered ith palpable exture,with sense f heir ntermingledompositionrommoisture, ir, ndfieryether. ince ucretius eacheshatmatter ndvacuity onot xist eparately

'91bid.,1982, 6:48-53 translation,97.

60Ibid., 6:84-91 translation, 99.6'For instance by Ferriguto, 09f. and by Tschmelitsch, 966 and 1975. Neither note

that the same notion of the harmonic strife f the elements opens Pio's commentary nLucretius; s a result, heir dherence othe philosophical inguafiranca fAristotelian hysicsor the cliches f Neoplatonism ails o produce convincingly recise nd synthetic ccountof the mage.

62Lucretius, :375-79; translation, 21.

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in the osmos, ut n an endlessly obile nd tumultuous ixture hoseincidental roduct s meteorologicalnd geological henomena nd theexistencef iving hings, iorgione's ode f endering ould ave specialresonance or beholder amiliar ith Epicurean osmology.63

Standing part o the eft, heman, ike the viewer, almly urveys heentire pectacle n its totality: he gathering louds, the bolt of lightningwhich renders he city walls below incandescent, erhaps lso the motherand child. Both he and she see the torm orwhat t s,not as a portent r asthe raging f a deity, ut as the ndifferent otion f the elements. he bro-ken columns behind the male

figureave been read

by EdgarWind as a

symbol f fortitude.64 etgiven hat hese olumns re part of a complex farchitectural ragments, hey an be seen more pointedly n terms f Lu-cretius' rgument gainst heplausibility f stormy heophanies. ightning,Lucretius rites, requently trikes t the temples f god;arewe supposed obelieve that god would strike t his own dwelling?Or does the fact thatlightning trikes ll man-made tructures ithout iscrimination ot ratherprove he bsurdity f divine ntervention?6' he fall f buildings lsoprovesthe nstability f all things n nature, hepredisposition f matter o alwaysassumenew forms:66 Again, o you not see that ven stones re conqueredby time, hat all turrets all nd rocks rumble, hat he gods' temples ndtheir mageswear out and crack, nor can their holy divinity arry orwardthe boundaries f fate r strive gainst nature's aws? Again, do we not seethe monuments of men fall to pieces?" (5:306-10)

The Epicurean philosopher in Lucretius' poem is characterizedthroughout s a wayfarer; his ncludes both Epicurus and the poet, hisdisciple. Lucretius ntroduces he theme of the wanderer n his first ook

(1:62-79),wherehe presents n apotheosis f Epicurus:61Ibid., 4:54-90; 722-77.64Wind, 26-27, uniquely nvoked the name of Lucretius with regard o Giorgione's

painting, nly oquickly ispose of t. He rejected t the utset he possibility hat hepaintingwas related o "a Lucretian oncept of dynamic myth," ssuming hat his swhat Ferriguto'sAristotelianreadingwas heading toward. Yet ater n his text he appearsdrawn momentarilyto the Lucretian onnection,which he briefly magines horn f ts cholasticcomponent: Ifthis were hemoral of the Tempestai.e. Ferriguto's empestaerena, n which the raw forces f

nature re mastered by man), it would hardly be necessary n this nstance to invoke theAristotelianism f Ermolao Barbaro, since any Platonist or Stoic, or even any follower fLucretius, might have said the same." Wind thus saw the painting as a moral allegory,regarding his s more consonant with the "unencumbered tyle" f the picture.

65 Lucretius, 1982: "Postremo cur sancta deum delubra suasque / discutit infestopraeclares ulmine edes,/ et bene facta deum frangit imulacrasuisque / demit imaginibusviolentovoinerehonorem?"

66A point made by Ferriguto, I 8-19.

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Whenman's ife ay or llto ee grovelingoully,rushed eneath heweight fSuperstitionreligione) hich isplayed erheadfrom he egions fheaven,loweringvermortals ith orriblespect, man f Greece asfirst hat aredto uplift ortal yes gainst er, he irst omake tand gainst er; or eitherfables f he ods ould uellhim, or he ightning lashfulmina), orheavenwithmenacing oar. ut llthemore hey oaded he ager ourage fhis oul,sothat e hould esire, irst f llmen, o hatter he onfining ars f nature'sgates. herefore he ively ower f hismind revailed,nd forth e marchedfar eyond heflaming alls f theworld, s he traversed he mmeasurableuniversen thought nd magination; hence ictorious eretums earing is

prize, he nowledgefwhat an ome nto eing, hat an not, n word, oweach hing as ts powers imited nd tsdeep-set oundary ark. hereforeSuperstitionsnow nher urn ast own nd ramplednderfoot, hilst ebythe ictory re xalted igh s heaven. 7)

The wanderer igure,whose clothing bears the signs of urbansophistication, asembarked n a literal marching eyond hewalls" theincandescentightning-illuminatedallsmay venmanifest n allusion othe lammantia oeniamundi ywhich ucretius esignateshe errestrial

realm).He could

perhapsbe identified with the


philosopher, hose ontemplationfnatural henomenand he onditionofman s presentedy ucretiuss a heroic uest; r,more robably, ecouldbe a contemporaryEpicurean" hohas eft he ity opursue ruth t thepointwhere ivilization ives lace o nature. learly, e doesnotwear hedress of a philosopher although heyoungest f the Vienna ThreePhilosophers,howears white hirt ith old mbroideries,s alsounusualin this espect).ethis dentity ouldperhaps econveyedhrough vokinga long-standingtereotypef he Epicurean." iorgione asgiven im he

parti-colored oseof an aristocratic enetian outh,who with manymembers f hisclassparticipatednone of twenty-threeestiveompaniesknown s the compagnie ellacalza: fraternities f the tocking. hesebrotherhoods ere rominentndfamiliarnVenetianife y he 500s, ndhad lso recentlyncluded heyoung rinces rancesco onzaga fMantuaand Alfonso 'Este of Ferrara mong heirmembers.7 The compagnie,devoted o ittle eyond hepleasure f their members, ada distinctlylibertine ast;the Senate wouldoccasionallyntervene o curtail heirbanquets so umptuous s to cause candal o God and the world," hichwere ometimes requented y courtesans. he diarist Marin Sanudoreported hat n 1508their ustomaryheatricalerformancesere anned;a later enewal f he rohibition escribeduch erformancess"incentives

"Two similarly-attired oung men appear as singers n Titian's Battle of theAndrians(Madrid, Prado), painted for Alfonsod'Este around 1525. On the compag-nieellacalza,seeVenturi, 908a and 1908b.

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to lasciviousnessnd a detestable orruption f worthy abits."'68 e are notfar wayhere rom classic tereotype f hefollowers f Epicurus s devoteesof sensual pleasure, one from which contemporary eaders f Lucretiussometimes ook pains to distance themselves, et also a characterizationwhich had been embraced ffirmatively y a speaker n LorenzoValia'sDevoluptate 431). In 1468 the humanist odality round Pomponio Leto,another roup given ofeasting nd theatrical erformance, ere imilarlyaccusedof being "Epicureans," n the grounds f moral icense s well asallegedphilosophicalmaterialism.69

ButGiorgione's youth

is far from his habitualmilieu, promptingreflection n what t might meanfor member f one of the compagnieo be

shownoutside he city, earing he taff f a pilgrim r a wanderer. he linkbetween he dentity f urban ibertine nd that f a more scetic seeker" nthe realm of natura s a philosophical ttitude grounded n the reality fsensation, hich eeks o investigate hedynamics f natural henomena ndphysical xistence.The wanderer now contemplates he realm of natura,having lready xperienced ts human and socialaspect.

Pontano, n his collection f erotic erse, ad comparedhimself o the

wayfaring picurean seeker after knowledge of the nature of things,contrasting hiswith his dentity s a lovepoet n Parthenopeus I,wherehehad "darednot to touch hevirgin prings, r to undertake he difficult athof the high mountain, where Lucretius eclining t the Muse's cavejoins inthe worthy ongwith supporting oice. 'OSo,too, Lucretius adproclaimedhimself o be a wayfaring isciple,walking n the footsteps f Epicurus norder o encounter emote r unfrequented laces:"you follow, glory fthe Grecian race, and now on the marks you have left plant my own

footsteps irm,ot so much

desiringo be

yourrival s for


yearn to imitate you" (3.3-6). And Lucretius lso claims the status of apioneer n that his poetic materia sunprecedented n the work f anyotherpoet: "thehigh hope of renown as struckmy mind harply ith holywand,and at the ame ime has struck nto myheart weet ove of he Muses, hrilledbywhichnow n ively hought traverse athless racts f the Pierides ever

68Venturi, 908a, 219, cites he 1460 Senatorial ondemnation f "cenas t pastus, deosumptuosos, uod est quaedam abhominatio eo et mondo." For Sanudoon the prohibitionof comedies "incentivo di lascivia et detestabile orruttela elli boni costumi" see Venturi,1908a, 220. Sanudo wrote n 1530 about the Council of Ten's renewal of ordinances firstproclaimed n 1508.

69Garin, 959, 222.70Pontano, 1948, 71: Nam mihi am pridem tenues agitantur mores, / Attritamque

sequor vatibus ipse viam / Intactos ausus necdum contingere fontes / Arduus et summacarperemontis ter / Hic, ubi Pieriorecubans ucretius ntro / Concinuit atio carmina dignasono / Ac rarum iculusfoecundo pectore ates/ Rerum naturae ondidit uctor opus.

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trodden y nyfoot. love o approach irgin prings, nd there o drink"(1:926-50).

Hisuniquenesss a poet sagain iguredn evocations f the Heliconfountain, he wellspring f poetic originality nd authority, n arecapitulationf this assagen book , 1 1 . In the ight f his ucretianimage f he ount fpoetry s source f wisdom e rerum atura, hepoolin the foreground f Giorgione's ainting an be seen as a "real ife"equivalent or hefountain f theMuses.Unlike he imeless ountain fmyth, heEpicurean ource s recognizablylso a part f theworld f the

observer,ndbelongs he nidealizedealm f natura. The Tempestan husbeseen odepict he picurean oet ontemplating ismateria, hat s, he"Matter"nd source" rom hich e draws is nspiration. ligned ith hefountain s a landscape embodying he strife f the elements nd acontemporaryity f he erraferma,spectaclencompassingthe ature fthings" n their veryday,ocalmanifestation.omerecent eadingsf thepicture avedeciphered ertain ackground lements n terms f theprecarious ortunes f Venice uring heWars f the League f Cambrai(1509-17): hese ccur n the aint, istant utlines f he arro, he temmaof he ong xtinct ormer ulers fPadua, till isible n the ates f ubject

72cities uch s Cittadelia. f this lement f opicalityxists,t hasparallelswith the iterary nterprise. ucretius' oemwas written oprovideconsolationn a time f civilwarfare hence he famous pening, hereVenusGenetrixs nvoked o disarm er over Mars.Pontano n hispoemUrania igressedrom is mythopoeticxpositionfplanetary otions ndinfluenceoportray nvivid ermstaly's istress uring heWar f Ferrara f

731482-84. just s Pontano ncorporatedeferencesocontemporaryoliticsinhis mitation fLucretius,o Giambattista io nhis1511commentarynthe De rerum atura inked he account of the Epicurean osmosto

"Thesepassagesn thepoemmay lsohelpmake ense, f hiswere ecessary,f theconcealedestigesf noriginal ersion here he wayfarer igure oesnot ppear, nd nhisplace s a second emaleigureeated y he dge f the ool.Although his hange f mindhasoften een aken s evidence f the improvisational"haracter f Giorgione's ork ngeneral,nd evenmore llogically),san rgument gainstnterpretationf ny ind, t ouldsimply e said hat he igurefNatura as moved rom he eft othe ight and ide, r hatthe anvas riginally resentedn entirely ifferentubject. et ven f t ould e proved hat

the riginal ersion mitted he malefigure, t s almost nevitable hat n image f nudefemale iguresy poolwouldhave voked he oposfwater ymphsndMuses, speciallyfor beholder amiliar ith magesuch s the astoral oncert. ut he aution f heard, 48,must e born nmind: Pentimenti,r pontaneoushanges uring he ainting rocess, avenever mplied he ack f predeterminedubject."

"SeeHoward, aplan."The lengthy ccount omprises ost f he ection nbook :"Onthe ands ubject o

Leo andthe un." ee Pontano, 513, 6r-97r.

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contemporary eality nd recent istory the wars f taly, hepapalcampaign gainst ologna, arthquakes nd plagues.Bartolomeo calaincorporated description f plaguenFlorence,loselymodeled n book

744ofDe rerum atura,nhis wn didactic oemDearboribusca. 1494-97).Allof hese re historicalontingencieshich roduce nxiety nddistress,the erturbatio hich he philosophicaloet eeks oassuage ypointing otheir auses: Pleasant t s,when n the great ea the winds rouble hewaters, ogazefrom hore pon nother's reat ribulation:otbecause nyman's roubles re delectableoy, utbecause operceive hat lls you refree rom



3. "THis is OUR VENUS

The nakedwoman nd child re xposedothe mpending ury f he tormin the fullest ossible ense. t is this ircumstance hich mayhave edMichiel o identify er s a gypsy, or, s recently emonstrated yPaulHolberton, gypsies ould be described, n Pietro Bembo'swords, s"primitives" ho"wandered heworldnaked, haggy nd savage n themanner f beasts, ithout roof, ithout uman ntercourse, ithout nycivilizedustom."75uch primitives,"owever,ould lsobe characterizedasEpicureans.n the etter undus ovus written yAmerigo espuccioLorenzodi Pierfrancesco e'Medici nd published n 1503, the nativeinhabitants f theNewWorld redescribedn preciselyhese erms. Theylivenaked n thewild, hey espect oprinciple f exual ontinence,ndhaveno temple ndno religion, ordo they orshipdols.Whatmore anI say? hey ive ccordingonature, ndmight ecalled picureans atherthan toics."76

Despite er xposed ondition, hewoman's aze,which onfronts hatof the beholder, s a mask f detachment; erpose sbasedon a classicalprototype far rom sualwithGiorgione)ndshehasfeaturesn commonwith enus enetrixntheHypnerotomachiawho sanything ut bestial").Detachment sperhaps erprincipal ivine ttribute, characteristicheshares ith ther enetian Venuses"yTitian ndGiorgione, ho ppearequallyhuman nd material. ere again t s Lucretius ho provides ninterpretativerame, ot nly nhisultimate emythologizationfVenus ut


The reportage f recent vents oengagedPiothat he indulged ts ccasional rrelevanceto the poem: "Si datur occasio, etiam si non datur, n patriam nostrae memoriam nobisdivertare ulceest." Pio, 1511,fol. cvv.This passagefollows long and bitter xcursus n thepapalannexation f Bologna;for n account of ocalearthquakes ee his comments n book 5,fol. clxxir. or Scala's De arboribus, eeScala, 426-45, with the plaguedescribed t 2:229-45,296-303.

15Bembo,Asolani, uoted in Holberton, 1995, 391.16

Vespucci, 9-50.

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also nhisfamous escriptionsf he redicamentf Primitive umanity."Much f he nterestnthe rimitivetate f humanity hich ppearedn helateQuattrocento as tself wing othe nfluencef he e rerum atura, sismost amously anifestnthe toriesfPrimitive anbyPiero i Cosimo,who ncluded xotic, ypsy-likeiguresnhis tory fVulcan. oth iero, ndGiorgione,ndpossiblylsoBembo, ere rawing n the amousassagenbook5ofLucretius, here hehuman ace sdescribeds ivingnthewild,foraging aked nd leepingn the round ike easts, iding heir squalidamembra"nthe nderwoods hen hey ad o helter rom hewind nd herain: They weltnwoodland recinctsf he

Nymphs,amiliarothem n

theirwanderings, hence hey new hat ome running ivulet ssuedrippling ver hewet ocks, ipplingver he wet ocksn bundant lownddripping pon he reenmoss"5:948-52).n 1648, he ioneeringistorianofVenetian rtCarloRidolfidentifiednotherwise nknown ainting fhalf-length omanwith child nd other iguress relating oLucretius'passage n the helplessnessf primitive umanity efore he harshness fNature andhe ttributed he ainting oGiorgione. idolfisnotoriouslyprofligatenhisGiorgione ttributions, ut he mportant oint ere sthat

apainting esemblingwork yGiorgione ouldhave een onnected iththe ext f Dererum atura 5:222-28):In painting f ife-size alf-lengthfigures,Giorgione) ainted he ymbol f human ife. here ppearedwoman nthe uise f nurse, olding tender hild nher rms, hohardlyhaving elt he irst ays fdaylight asexperiencinghemiseries fhumanlife, ndwasweeping. lluding o this ucretiusang n these erses f thenewborn hild: the hild, ike sailor ast orth y he ruel aves,iesnakedupon he round, peechless,nneed f very ind f vital upport, s soonasnature as pilt imforth ith hroes rom is mother's omb nto heregions f ight, ndhe fills llaround ith oleful ailings as sbut ust,seeing hat o much rouble waits im n ife opass hrough.)77

Inthis atural tate f humanity escribedyLucretiusnbook , twasVenus enetrix hoheld way:And enus oined he odies f overs nthewoods; or ither hewomanwas ttracted ymutual esire, r aught y he

"Ridolfi, "Vita di Giorgione da Castel Franco" n LeMaraviglie ell'arte, 648; entiretext n Anderson, 370-73, with the quoted passageon 371-72: In quadro di mezze figurequanto lnaturale, ece l simbolodell'humana ita. vi appariva na donna n guisadi Nutrice,che teneva r'a e braccia tenero bambino, che apena apriva lumi alla diurna uce provandole miserie della vita direttamente piangeva:alludendo a quello cant'o Lucretio dell'huomonascente n questi versi. Lucreti. ib. 5. Tumporro uer, ut saevisproiectus b undis. Thepainting lso included an armed man of robust spect, to indicate the hot-bloodedness fyouth, s well as a boy disputing with philosophers perhaps an echo of The Education ofMarcusAurelius?), n old woman, nd a naked old man meditating pon a skull. He adds thatthe painting was believed o be in the Cassinelli ollection t Genoa.

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man )s violent force and vehement lust" (5:963-65). For Lucretius, Venus is

finally characterized in terms of human nature itself. His view of VenusGenetrix accords her no necessary existence beyond her manifestation in the

reproductive functions of living creatures. Although beginning his poemwith the famous sublime invocation of Venus, the goddess subsequentlyappears in the poem in her distinctively everyday and non-divine

manifestations, in the plural form of "Veneres nostras" (4:1185). "This, then,is our Venus" he writes (4:1058), having explained the power of sight and ofthe appearance (simulacrum) in the arousal of sexual desire. SomeRenaissance commentators noted the inconsistency of invoking the goddessin a poem denying divine agency. 18 Perhaps in order to preserve the

mythological hermeneutic of Lucretius' poem, which precludes the literal

appearance and activity of the gods, Giorgione presents her in the

unmetaphysical form in which the forces she designates are most fullymaterialized - in a figure which suggests the dynamic of human attraction,desire, and generation, as well as alluding to humanity in its natural state. Inother words, she is not Venus, but a mortal body in which a certain natural

property of living things - the ability to arouse desire, to generate and to

nurture, a property to which poets and superstitious people had given thename "Venus" - has manifested itself

Giorgione has made every effort to humanize, even de-mythologize the

figure of the divina genitrice as she had appeared in the Hypnerotomachia,removing her from her shrine and trappings of divinity, accentuating her

nudity, and placing her upon the earth like a Madonna of Humility.` The

earthly female body as a "material" reduction of an allegorical personificationis also strikingly evoked in a dismissal of Lucretius by an early Christianwriter of considerable authority, and a major source of information about the

Epicureans. This was Lactantius (ca. 250-ca. 326), one of the earliest authors

printed in Italy, and whose writings appeared in at least nine Venetianeditions between 1471 and 1515. According to Lactantius, Lucretiusconceived Epicurus as stumbling upon Wisdom, incongruously embodied asa woman, "lying with feet extended toward the source. 5580 Such equivocationsare part of the language of the picture, and at the root of its perception as both

allegory and genre painting. Once again, however, in the Tempest we see notWisdom, but wisdom, as it were, incarnate, in a singularly undivine

manifestation.In his tolerant comprehension and contemplation of the instinctual sideof human nature denoted by Venus, and her central place in "the nature of

"See Pio, fol. Ir. and the commentary f DionysusLambinus, n Lucretius, 565, 7.7'Emison, 71, aptly remarks hat [Giorgione]used nudity o exclude the parallelwith

Madonna and Child and used clothing o avoid mythological eference.""See the epigraph o this rticle.

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things" n general, heEpicurean hilosopher ttains posture f soberdetachment. o too, perhaps, ould GabrielVendramin, hose ifelongcelibacymay eflect philosophicalttitude onditioned yStoicism ndEpicureanism;emight ecall ere is wnersh"lpf Giorgionentitled heEducation fMarcus urelius, hich an be seen now as a kind f Stoicpendant o the picurean empest.

It sVenice bove ll, he enter f he ublishing orld, hat rovideshemost ital ndicationsfLucretianndEpicureantudiesn the irst ecadeof he ixteenthentury. he 1495Venice dition asfollowed y nother n1500,edited yHieronymus vantius or he Aldine ress; heOpera fPontano ppeared n 1505,and n 1511the humanist iambattista iofollowedwith his own edition n Bologna." A further ldine editionfollowedn 1515.The poemenjoyed fairly idereception ithin ndbeyond umanist ircles n northern taly: or nstance, hemarchesefMantua, rancesco onzaga, hough ften hought f s a man of ctionwith ittle ime or ntellectual ursuits, ought ut a copy f LucretiusnFlorence, ith mendationsyMicheleMarullo,n 15 0.12 Thereceptionfthepoemwasfacilitated ythe vailabilityf more alanced ccount f

Epicureanism, iogenesLaertius' ives


Philosophers, hichhad83appearednseveral ernacularersions y1499.Theearly inquecentoditions fLucretius rovide urtherndications

of shift nattitude oLucretiusndhisphilosophicaloetry hich ffordperspectiven the Tempest.ldus dded n apologyohisfirst dition hichdeparts rom he arly uattrocento's re)udicesgainst ucretius n theneutrality f tsposition: ucretius ight eread, ewrote, notbecausewhat emight avewritten strue r o bebelieved yus since e dissentsgreatly rom he cademicsndperipatetics,ot o mention ur heologians- butbecause ecommitted he picurean ogma overse ith reatearn-ing nd elegance."4 Pio's pproach smuch ess pologetic, nd directlyaddresseshe onspiracyf ilencendCiceronianlander hich adgrosslymisrepresenteducretiusndthe octrines fEpicurus.n the ourse f hiscommentary, iotakes p the udgel gainst he toic nemies f Epicure-anism bywhose uthority icero ften ails t and nsults picurus s avoluptuary nslaved ythe oveofwomen. ecausefCicerohad ooked

81On Pio see Raimondi.

8'Lorenzodi Pierfrancesco e'Medici sent FrancescoGonzagain 1501a "Plinio studiatodalPoliziano,"but tated hat he could not find oliziano's ucretius; herefore e was sendingthe version emendato da Marullo, l quale dalli docti homini e comendato." See Luzio andRenier, 5.

83SeePagnoni, 1459-60.84non quod vera cripserit t credenda obis, nam ab academicis tia-m t peripateticis,

nedum a theologisnostris multum dissentit sed quia epicurae ectaedogmata leganter tdoctis mandavit arminibus. uoted in Dionisotti, 56.

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upon hat leasure eloved f Epicurus ith yes nd mind otblinded yenvy e wouldhave hanged ismind bout t. ndeed hewouldhavedis-covered hat tate ofpleasure) o be a peace nd tranquillity f the mindwhosenourishment asthe nvestigationf nature's ecrets, rom he on-templation fwhich omes hat leasure hich spronounced o be over llpleasures.85

BeyondAldus and Pio, several ther humanists eatured ositive86characterizationsfEpicurean oluptasntheir orks. Given he imension

of Venetian olitics n the arly ixteenth entury, herewassomethingparticularly rresting bout hepoem's onfrontationaltance, hepoet'sclaim ostrip way llusions, isgrasp n the sychologyfhuman ear nditsmanipulation y rganizedeligion.llof hismade t speciallyttractivetohumanists howere oliticallyr pirituallypposed othe uthoritarianandworldly apaciesfAlexander Iandhis uccessors,ndwould ave adspecial esonancenVenicenthe ra f hewars f Cambrai1509-17).Thefamous ssault f Lucretius n religiond uperstition as ppropriated yPontano n the Urania 1.679 ff.) yet nowreconciled ith posture fChristian rthodoXy.87ubsequentlyhe ucretianttack nreligio as aken

up byheFerrarese elio



city's truggle ith he apaCY.88

The Tempest,hen, sa work hich riginates ot ustwithin "learned"source,but within broader ocial ideal of ntellectual nd personalcultivation entered n the ct of contemplation, hether f books r ofthings, nd on the deal f ecluded tudy hich umanists ften hose orepresent san experiencef voluptas. ne way f giving oluptas moralfoundation asby urning othe ober ersion fEpicureanismoundnthe

"Pio, preface: quorum auctoritatem sequtus Cicero saepicule vellicat et sugillatEpicurum anquam voluptarium t mulierum moribus ncillantem. uod si Cicero mentisoculos non invidiae ollimassetatque direxisset d amasiam Epicuri voluptatem, ibenter dillamdivertisset. omperisset nim eam statum sse animi edatum tque tranquillum, uiuspabulum erat crutatio ecretorum aturae x cuius contemplatione oluptasoritur mnemvoluptatem xcedens.

"Among them FilippoBeroaldo of Bologna,and GiovanniTortelli n his Orthographia,published in Venice in 1501: "dicebat voluptatem esse finem, non ... luxuriosorumvoluptatem, nec eam quae in gustu est, ut quidam male intellexere, ed eam quae est nondolere, nimoque tranquillam sse,et perturbatione acare."Quoted in Garin, 1959, 228.

8'As is argued by Goddard, 1991.88"It is vain superstition o keep invoking the powerful divinities: et not even the

thunderbolts hat ly hrough he ir deceiveyou ... Beholdthe Roman priests, ho indeedacknowledge hat here s a godwho possesses hehighest ower vermen and heaven ... Asthey ell t, he created the heavens, the earth, nd the stars; hey magine that he had notmaterial r physical ubstance, ut that hispower lone,whichwassupreme,made t: nothingmore foolish than that has ever been heard." From the silva "Coelii secta," quoted andtranslated n Bacchelli, 42, who does not note the allusionto Lucretius.

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poetry f Lucretius, text which was avidly tudied by Pontano, Scala,Poliziano,Celio Calcagnini, rmolao Barbaro, nd Giambattista io - theleading ights f talian humanism, n otherwords.Contemplative oluptassthe main thematic accent of the image, and also points to its originalfunction: n imageof contemplation oshapeand direct he meditations f

89its owner.In the Epicurean ense s it wasunderstood t the time, ontemplation

had been assigned specific thical alueentailing etachment nd the mas-tery of perturbation, nd this might well have fitted he private self-cultivation f a learned Venetian man of affairs n the troubled decade of1500-11.The attainment f erenity as at the ore ofdiscussions n the val-ues of sacred and secular learning conducted by figures with whomVendramin would have been acquainted - Paolo Giustiniani, PietroQuirini, nd Taddeo Contarini. Quirini and Giustiniani inally ought hisdesired ranquility n the spiritual xercises f the monastic rofession, n-tering he Camaldolesi order n 1511. Among the humanistic pursuitsQuirini eft ehind was his criticalwork on the text f Lucretius, cknowl-edgedbyAldus n his edition f 1500.90Remarkably, owever, ven n holy

orders he saintly Giustiniani would profess himself o be a follower fEpicurus. Voluptas, ewrote, was indeed the highest ood,but t was to beachieved ythe contemplation f God in everydayife.9' his assimilation fvoluptas nd the ummum onum y a reformer f the church sperhaps heculminating oint f he arly inquecento einvention fEpicurus nwhichthe dissemination f Lucretius layed uch a vital role. This rehabilitationwouldbe onlypartly uccessful, speciallyn the climate f intensifying nx-iety bout philosophical nd theological rthodoxy uring hereligious risisafter 517,when Lucretius'materialism nd denial of the oul's mmortalitywould makea philosophical ngagement ith his text increasingly ifficult,at east n Italy.Already n 1516the Synodof Florence ad specifically on-demned hereading f Lucretius n these ery,grounds.

2 Itwasperhaps uchscruples which, within a short time, would place the readability ofGiorgione's ainting n oblivion.THE JOHNs HoPKINS UNIVERSITY

"Without adducing the Epicurean dimension, which would have enabled a moreconvincing inkbetween ranquility f mind nd meditation pon nature, ettis oncluded his

study f Giorgionewith ndications f the entrality f the ontemplative mpulse nVenetianintellectual mpulse n the earlyCinquecento. SeeSettis, 28 ff.'OF.Gilbert, 83.91Massa,32: "il Giustiniani i scosta dalla ntrepretazione donisticanegativa, he Marco

Tullio fa risalire agli stoici, per riconoscere n Epicuro spirituale n Cogitationes uotidianeLXI, 1: Sivoluptas, ue animo percipitur, ummum et extremum st hominis .. bonum."See alsoPagnoni, 1474-77.

92F. Gilbert, 78.

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