Mythological Painting in Renaissance Venice: From Bellini to Titian with Dr. Thomas Dalla Costa
From the beginning of the sixteenth century, mythological painting became increasingly popular throughout the Serenissima, evolving into an independent genre that rapidly established itself on the Venetian art scene. This genre was widely inspired by classical texts such as Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a veritable best seller of the period, printed in multiple editions that ensured its extensive dissemination through the entire century. Thus the link between word and image, between narrative text, was of the utmost importance, since it was this relationship, together with the considerations springing from viewing the works, that stimulated the collectors’ desire to possess mythical and allegorical paintings.
Led by Art Historian and curator Thomas Dalla Costa, a Venetian Sixteenth-century specialist, this seminar explores how painters such as Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Jacopo Palma, Paolo Veronese, and, most importantly, Titian looked at literary sources besides visual tradition in order to develop their paintings of mythological subjects. The calm and relaxing atmosphere that permeates paintings by Palma and Veronese will therefore be compared with the more dramatic scenes created by Tintoretto and Titian.
Thomas Dalla Costa holds a PhD in Art History from Verona University. He is a specialist in Italian Renaissance Art, in particular on Sixteenth-century Venetian paintings and drawings. In 2014 he was Assistant Curator for the exhibition ""Paolo Veronese. L'illusione della realtà"" (held in Verona, July-October 2014). In 2015 he was Post-doctoral Researcher at Verona University, with a project on Titian's celebrated series of Venus and Adonis. The outcome of this research has been recently published in a book (Venice, April 2019). As a Research Fellow for Save Venice Inc., he edited a book on Jacopo Tintoretto (Venice, 2018), and contributed to the research for the exhibition ""Tintoretto 1519-2019"" (Venice, September 2018-January 2019) and ""Tintoretto. Artist of Renaissance Venice"" (Washington, March-July 2019).
In 2017 Thomas curated the exhibition ""Venezia Rinascimento: Tiziano, Tintoretto, Veronese"" (Moscow, June-August 2018). Between February 2019 and December 2020 he was Curatorial Fellow at the National Gallery in London, where he assisted the curator of the exhibition ""Titian. Love, Desire, Death"" (March-December 2020). He has published a number of articles on Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese's workshop. He has a strong interest in the artists' creative process, and the pivotal role of drawings to Venetian Renaissance workshops.