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Venice in 1510. Aside from the year, everything else about his passing is supposition. Age? thirty-three, give or take a few years. Cause of death? the plague, perhaps. Similar uncertainty clouds his career. He was probably, though not certainly, apprenticed to Giovanni Bellini. His oeuvre may consist of six or sixty paintings. Experts have never reached consensus. Mystery is the key word whenever Giorgione or his art is discussed. Instead of rehearsing unanswerable questions of meaning or attribution, Elizabeth K. Smith examines the metaphors that have endowed Giorgione with an enduring role in the Renaissance and its legacy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.