Giorgione's "Tempest" and the so-called "Discovery of Paris" might have been the two notte that Isabella D' Este sought to acquire on hearing the news of the painter's death in 1510. It is interesting to note that she, like other collectors, was not averse to acquiring paintings that had been commissioned by other patrons. Below, I reprise a post on the subject that includes speculation on the patron who might have originally commissioned the painting that has come to be called the Tempest.
“we hear that among the possessions left by Zorzo da Castelfranco, the painter, there is a picture of a Notte, very beautiful and original. If this is the case, we wish to have it, and beg your Lorenzo da Pavia or any other person of taste and judgment to go and see if it is a really excellent thing. If it is, I hope you will endeavor to secure this picture for me… Find out the price and let us have the exact sum; but if it is really a fine thing, and you think well to clench the bargain for fear others should carry it off, do what you think best…”
“Most illustrious and honoured Madama mia,--
“I have spoken in your interests to some of my friends who were very intimate with him, and they assure me that there is no such picture among his possessions. It is true that the said Zorzo painted a Notte for M. Taddeo Contarini, which, according to the information which I have, is not as perfect as you would desire. Another picture of the Notte was painted by Zorzo for a certain Vittore Beccaro, which, from what I hear, is finer in design and better finished than that of Contarini. But Beccaro is not at present in Venice, and from what I hear neither picture is for sale, because the owners have had them painted for their own pleasure, so that I regret I am unable to satisfy Your Excellency’s wish.” *
|David Teniers: copy of a lost Giorgione|
Instead I would like to advise students to look in the direction of Bologna whose leading citizens included the Zambeccaro family. I also believe that some members of the family fled Bologna for Venice after Pope Julius II drove out the ruling Bentivoglio family in 1506.
At least one of the Zambeccaro was an art collector. In his biography of Franceso Francia, Giorgio Vasari said that Francia was a close friend of Polo Zambeccaro.
He lived in close intimacy with Messer Polo Zambeccaro, who being much his friend, and wishing to have some memorial of him, caused him to paint a rather large picture of the Nativity of Christ, which is one of the most celebrated works that he ever made; and for this reason Messer Polo commissioned him to paint at his villa two figures in fresco, which are very beautiful.***