In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Paolo Veronese

  • Introduction
  • Early-20th-Century Specialized Studies
  • Veronese’s Compositional Devices and Relationship to Architecture
  • Conservation Publications

Renaissance and Reformation Paolo Veronese
Diana Gisolfi
  • LAST REVIEWED: 21 February 2023
  • LAST MODIFIED: 21 February 2023
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195399301-0487


Paolo Veronese was born in 1528 in Verona and died on 19 April 1588 in Venice. He was active as a painter from 1546 until his unexpected death at the height of his career in 1588. He is typically seen in the literature as the youngest in the triumvirate of great painters of the late Renaissance in Venice, together with Titian and Tintoretto. Paolo’s early years and training in Verona are important in understanding his use of drawings and his applications of color in ways that are distinct from the practices of each of his famous colleagues. In some later documents and signatures the artist’s name is given as Paolo Caliari Veronese. Veronese’s mysterious relationship to the noble Caliari family of Verona was clarified only in 2000, by Pier Paolo Brugnoli, who discovered records showing that Veronese’s mother was the natural daughter of an Antonio Caliari who died young. Paolo’s brother Benedetto and his sons Carletto and Gabriele are known by this surname. Veronese’s career was promoted by his familial and professional connections in Verona; ample patronage continued seamlessly in Venice. Early commissions from noble families and distinguished monastic orders in Verona brought the artist into circles that produced further and even more important commissions in Venice (Gisolfi 2017, cited under Monographs). High appreciation of Veronese’s gifts during his lifetime continued with great critical acclaim in the 17th century and for most of the 18th century. In the late 1700s Joshua Reynolds deprecated Veronese’s paintings as mere displays of virtuosity, and the idea that Veronese was only a “decorator” entered English literature. This view was directly challenged by Sylvie Béguin, Madlyn Kahr, and Philip Fehl beginning in the 1950s and 1960s, who showed the religious content of Veronese’s splendid pictures, and much scholarly literature since has sought to understand Veronese’s sophisticated art in its religious, cultural, and material context. The four hundredth anniversary of the artist’s death in 1988 was the occasion of important exhibitions, conservation projects, and new research. In the twenty-first century Veronese’s paintings in fresco and oil, his drawings, and his designs have been examined via major conservation campaigns and celebrated in exhibitions and scholarly publications. Further study of process and workshop practice has been made possible by an increasing volume of conservation data, and by bringing drawings, paintings and conservation information together in several exhibitions (2011–2015). This bibliography is selective. Each section is selective. For a more comprehensive bibliography (not annotated, last updated 2013), see Diana Gisolfi’s article “Veronese [Caliari], Paolo” in Oxford Art Online, Grove Art (first published with comprehensive bibliography to that date in The Dictionary of Art, 34 vols, Macmillan, 1996, vol. 32, pp. 347–358).

Sources Prior to 1900

Paolo Veronese was part of art history during his lifetime and has been continuously ever since. Before 1900 there were contemporary accounts, letters, documents, critical descriptions and guidebooks to both Verona and Venice. The sources selected in this annotated bibliography are meant to give the student or scholar an introduction both to the artist and his cultural environment as well as his work.

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