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Venetian Painting 16th century
In the 16th century Venetian artists, supported by Venetian patrons and collectors, developed a unique visual tradition. In contrast to their Florentine colleagues, who relied on a strong sense of line, or contour, to create forms, Venetian painters used patches of rich color to create an effect of luminosity. In Venice, colorito, "coloring" not only color but also its judicious application was deemed fundamental to conceiving painted images charged with the look of life. Typically Venetian, however, was the process of layering and blending colors to achieve a glowing richness. Rather than beginning with careful drawings, Venetian painters often worked out compositions directly on the canvas, using layered patches of colored brushstrokes rather than line to define form. While developing and exploiting its own distinctive characteristics, the Venetian tradition was not immune to outside currents. In particular, Mannerist influences from central Italy were an important factor in the development of later 16th-century Venetian style.

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