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Homage to a Poet
Follower of Giorgione
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The subject of this painting is obscure – a melancholy enthroned figure sits with books at his feet. A young man sitting on the step plays a lute as a boy approaches the throne and a kneeling man offers a bowl of flowers. All have respectfully removed their hats. A hermit appears in a cave in the rock face to the left.

It has recently been suggested that the subject is Saturn exiled by Zeus; another theory is that it may represent Joseph and Pharaoh’s dream. The leopard licking his paw is also included in the Orpheus of about 1515 by Giovanni Bellini (National Gallery of Art, Washington).

It is unclear whether this is a work by Giorgione himself or by one of his followers. It was likely painted by the same artist as the Judgment of Solomon and Moses and the Proof by Fire, usually given to Giorgione (both Uffizi, Florence). It is probably the painting described in the 1603 inventory of the collection of Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini in Rome.

Key facts
Artist Follower of Giorgione
Artist dates active 1506; died 1510
Full title Homage to a Poet
Date made early 16th century
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 59.7 x 48.9 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1885
Inventory number NG1173
Location in Gallery Not on display
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