Allegoria of the Battle of Lepanto, Paolo Veronese

Allegoria of the Battle of Lepanto, Paolo Veronese
Allegoria of the Battle of Lepanto, Paolo Veronese - 1

  • Posted by Paolo Veronese
  • Museum: Academy Gallery
  • Year: Around 1573

Overview of the painting :

The Allegoria of the Battle of Lepanto – Paolo Veronese. Around 1573. Oil on canvas. 170×137

   A brilliant representative of the Venetian school of painting in the Renaissance, whose art completed its “golden age” on a high note, Paolo Kallari (1528-1588), called Veronese (that is, “worther”), as an artist formed in his hometown. His father was a bricklayer and is believed to have introduced his son to the art of modeling as a child. But still, the first true teachers were the famous architect Mikele Sanmikele and the painter Antonio Badile (later Veronese marries his daughter). The young man acquired his own artistic language already in Venice, where he was invited to paint the plafon in the Council of Ten Hall in the Doge Palace in 1553. Soon, the creator received a gold medal from the prosecutors of the Cathedral of San Marco for three large round panels in the Marchian Library. In them, the master used sharp angles, dizzying arrangement of space, managed to convey the depicted almost materially. The name Veronese became famous, mentioned next to the name of Titian, with whom he became close, and Tintoretto. He decorated palaces, temples and villas, wrote portraits.

   The largest naval battle of the 16th century, the battle of Lepanto, happened on October 7, 1571 and ended with the brilliant victory of the combined fleet of the Holy League, which included Venice, Spain, the Papal state and many other European countries, over the military forces of the Ottoman Empire. The defeat for a long time pushed the Turks’ claims to world domination and dispelled the myth of their invincibility. But for Christian Europe, it was primarily a victory over the Muslim East, a cross over a crescent. And for Venice, which has suffered for many centuries from constant conflicts with the Muslim countries of the Mediterranean, the battle was of great importance. Therefore, the appearance in Venetian painting of that time of numerous paintings on this topic is not surprising. Victory was portrayed by artists and as an independent historical picture, and was regarded as an allegory, and served as a backdrop to portraits, and sometimes she was present on the canvases indirectly.

   For the church of San Pietro Martire on the island of Murano near Venice, the great Paolo Veronese created a picturesque allegory of the sea battle. The artist is extremely detailed with regard to fleets. He lets into the foreground a little water space, filling the lower belt to the horizon with the image of ships seen “from a bird’s eye view.”. The victory of the Christian forces is portrayally predetermined not only by the heavenly intercession of the most powerful, upper stage of the composition, which is allotted to the “large plan” of the scene with Madonna and saints, but also by the numerical superiority of the flags and the banner of the army on the frequency of masts above the panels with a crescent. Despite the chamber size, the work gives the impression of a monumental work and is one of the most famous images of the legendary battle.