Venetian School

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Denotes the thriving and distinctive artistic style of Venice from the last quarter of the 15th century to the mid-late 16th century pioneered by Gentile and Giovanni Bellini. While also yielding considerable political power, the Venetian school favored inventive use of color and the sensuous depiction of light and color over the rationality and primacy of line that characterized the High Renaissance in the Florentine and Roman schools. Epitomized in the paintings of Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese, the scuole punched up religious and classical subject matter with luminous nudes, dynamic compositions, and brilliant hues. Indeed, the forward-looking Venetian school was also responsible for the shift toward the now-dominant use of oil paint on canvas and wood panel as opposed to fresco wall painting, perhaps owing to the overwhelming humidity near the sea. The school's influence proved great stylistically, too: its pleasure-seeking, even poetic sensibility, which stood in contrast to the cool, studied quality of Italian Mannerism paved the way for the melodramatic vividness of 17th century Baroque.

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