W. J. Stillman ‘Old Italian Masters’

CARPACCIO had the Venetian sense of color in a high degree, but the telling of his story was evidently more important to him than his technique, and he never attained the complete mastery of oils that some of his con-temporaries gained. As a story-teller, however, he has had no superior in the school of Venice, and perhaps none in Italian art. His imagination is way-ward, subtle, full of minute inventions and happy surprises, and his originality is distinct, and, in his most matured and characteristic work, almost separates him from the contemporary Venetian art, though in his methods he at times adheres to one or another of the teachers with whom he was associated in his early training.

Carpaccio leaves upon me the impression of an artist in whom the subject had always overpowered the art, in whom invention ran so far ahead of the power of delivery that he had no time to wait for his brush to do its work completely. To the dilettante who studies him, and who is not led aside from the intellectual conception by the critical study of methods and technical mastery, he offers more intense satisfaction than some of the greater painters —a satisfaction which I must hold to be apart from the purely artistic standard. It is on this ground that Ruskin does him honor.

Living and dying as Carpaccio did in the midst of a community in which the technical appreciation of art had been fed to the utmost by daily study of the greatest triumphs of color the world has seen, his life and his exit from it, as well as his works, attracted less attention than they merited. Thus it is that we know nothing of him personally, and know not when or where he was born, nor the time and place of his death.

WHAT stirs one most in Carpaccio is his faith, his warmth, the power he has of moving and being moved, the truth and depth of his expression, his unparalleled sincerity.-CHARLES YRIARTE

( Originally Published 1903 )

Masters In Art – Vittore Carpaccio:Vittore CarpaccioThe Art Of CarpaccioAndré Pératé ‘La Grande Encyclopédie’Bernhard Berenson ‘Venetian Painters Of The Renaissance’W. J. Stillman ‘Old Italian Masters’E. H. And E. W. Blashfield And A. A. Hopkins, Editors ‘Vasari’s Lives’The Works Of Carpaccio