Unlike most famous artists of the past, Giorgione has not yet found a modern biographer. The whole trend of recent criticism has, in his case, been to destroy not to fulfil. Yet signs are not wanting that the disintegrating process is at an end, and that we have reached the point where reconstruction may be attempted. The discovery of documents and the recovery of lost pictures in the last few years have increased the available material for a more comprehensive study of the artist, and the time has come when the divergent results arrived at by independent modern inquirers may be systematically arranged, and a reconciliation of apparently conflicting views attempted on a psychological basis.
GENERALLY ACCEPTED WORKS
Such, then, very briefly, are the facts of Giorgione's life recorded by the older biographers, or known by contemporary documents. Now let us turn to his artistic remains, the disjecta membra, out of which we may reconstruct something of the man himself; for, to those who can interpret it aright, a man's work is his best autobiography.
This is especially true in the case of an artist of Giorgione's temperament, for his expression is so peculiarly personal, so highly charged with individuality, that every product of mental activity becomes a revelation of the man himself. People like Giorgione must express themselves in certain ways, and these ways are therefore characteristic. Some people regard a work of art as some