About Me


This site presents a number of interpretive discoveries that identify the subjects of some of the most mysterious and enigmatic paintings of the Venetian Renaissance.  

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

Giorgione: Tempest

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

Giorgione: Three Ages of Man

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

Titian: Sacred and Profane Love

Fourth, Titian’s “Pastoral Concert”, one of the Louvre’s most prized possessions is seen as Titian’s “Homage to the Recently Deceased Giorgione.” There are at least four elements in the painting that the well-dressed young man has recently died. 


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 also blog on these and other Venetian Renaissance issues at Giorgione et al…

I am not a professional art historian. I hold a PhD in History but left academe 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.

I will provide copies of the papers to any interested party. All rights are reserved and please extend the courtesy of not reproducing portions of these papers without permission. Contact me at drdestefano@mac.com.

Dr. Francis P. DeStefano

Fairfield, CT 06825

Email: drdestefano@mac.com

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