Renaissance Mysteries Solved: Update


In 2010 I created this site as a repository for my re-interpretations of some of the greatest and mysterious works of the Venetian Renaissance.   

First, in 2005 I identified the subject of Giorgione’s “Tempest” as “The Rest of the Holy Family on the Flight into Egypt.” For  500 years this famous painting had eluded identification. Innumerable interpretations have been put forward but all have been shot down. 

Second, I have identified the subject of Giorgione’s so-called “Three Ages of Man” that now hangs in the Pitti Palace as “The Encounter of Jesus with the Rich Young Man.” There has never been any scholarly agreement on the subject of this painting either. 

Third, I have identified Titian’s equally mysterious painting, “Sacred and Profane Love,” as “The Conversion of Mary Magdalen.” Up to now this famous painting that hangs in the Borghese Gallery has also eluded identification. 

Fourth, I have identified the subject of the Louvre’s equally mysterious “Pastoral Concert” as Titian’s “Homage to the Recently Deceased Giorgione,” using the Biblical story of David and Jonathan as a template.

A number of other discoveries have flowed from these new interpretations of the work of Giorgione and Titian. Some can be read on this site, and others at my blog, Giorgione et al 

I presented a shortened version of my paper on Giorgione’s “Tempest” in Venice in 2010 at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America. In 2011, I also presented it with some additional material in St. Louis at the annual meeting of the South Central Renaissance conference. In March 2012, I presented a shortened version of the paper on “The Sacred and Profane Love” at the meeting of the South Central Renaissance conference in New Orleans. 


I am not a professional art historian. I hold a PhD in History but left academe some 40 years ago to pursue a career as a financial advisor. Late in my career I developed an interest in Italy and the Renaissance and made my discovery about the “Tempest” only in 2005. A short version of the interpretation appeared in the Masterpiece column of the Wall St. Journal in May, 2006. Otherwise, these papers have never been published in traditional media. 

Note: Because of spammers I plan to limit comments on this site. I will be happy to respond to any legitimate comments via email. I I am also available to offer presentations on the papers presented here.

Dr. Francis P. DeStefano, Fairfield CT