Fisherman Presenting a Ring to the Doge
About Paris Bordone

Paris Bordone (1495-1570). Paris, or Paschalinus, Bordone was born at Treviso. He was sent by his father, who was in good circumstances, to Venice, and was placed as a pupil in the studio of Titian. But while he was indebted to his master to a great extent, he had a greater admiration for the work of Giorgione, and this led him to appreciate highly the works of Titian that were produced when this great master himself was under the influence of Giorgione.

We learn that Bordone and Titian did not work together in harmony, the master being jealous of his pupil, and the latter complaining that his master neglected him, and did not help him very much, so it may be said that the position was not that of master and pupil, but one of rivalry between them.

Though Bordone was a brilliant colourist, his drawing and composition, if we except a few of his best works, were not on a level with the achievements of the greater Venetian painters. It must be admitted, however, that a clear and decided vein of originality is apparent in his work. His greatest work, painted when he was forty-five, and in the maturity of his powers, is the famous picture in Room X of the Venice Academy, " The Fishermen Presenting the Ring of St. Mark to the Doge," painted for the Confraternity of St. Mark’s, in 1540. It belongs to the class of the Venetian pageant- or ceremonial- pictures, and is distinguished as a beautiful and even triumphant example of glowing and harmonious colour. In this respect it outrivals any Venetian ceremonial-picture, and has not been surpassed, or equalled, by any of Bordone’s later works.

Vasari speaks of Bordone, whom he had known in Venice, as one who had lived a quiet, simple and upright life, whose circumstances were comfortable, and that “he worked only at the request of princes and his friends.”

From History and Methods of Ancient & Modern Painting by James Ward (Dutton, 1921)

Also see the Wikipedia entry on: Paris Bordone

January 22, 2009
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