- Titian: His Life by Sheila Hale – review | Books | The Guardian
- Titian Facts
- Youth and debut
- Titian: His Life by Sheila Hale – review
He was the oldest of the four siblings. After spending his early years in Pieve di Cadore, he was sent to live with his uncle in Venice at the age of ten. While in Venice, he developed an interest towards paintings and decided to become an artist. Afterwards, he became an apprentice of Sebastiano Zuccato, a Venetian artist. Then, he got the opportunity to work with some of the leading artists of the era such as Giovanni Bellini and later the Giorgione, who proved to be quite influential to the young painter.
After assisting Giorgione on several assignments, Titian obtained his first major independent commission of the three large frescoes in the Confraternity of St. In , he painted his first portrait of the Charles V as Holy Roman emperor while attending the coronation of Emperor. In , Titian went to Augsburg upon the invitation of Charles V and painted the portrait of Prince Philip in armor, a work which set a standard for state portraits. Between and , Titian mostly worked for Philip II and painted artworks for the monastery of the Escorial such as the magnificent Crucifixion, the Entombment, and the Adoration of the Kings.
His parents were respectable people of modest means. In , Titian and his brother Francesco were sent to Venice to start training as painters in the workshop of Sebastiano Zuccato who specialized in mosaics. While his brother stayed there to study, Titian left and went to be an apprentice for Gentile and Giovanni Bellini.
He was his personal assistant until his death in Their styles are hard to tell apart, and their paintings, unless signed or documented, are sometimes labeled to be painted by both artists, since no one could really tell the difference. He was to paint the Scuola Del Santo in Padua. Three years later, when business started doing well. He opened his own workshop and was able to hire two assistants. In , he was commissioned to paint the high altar in the Church of Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice.
When finished, Titian was the most celebrated artist in Venice. This is the piece that brought him the fame and glory that carried him through the Renaissance. Most art during this time was religious, so this move into pagan subjects was relatively new and not popularized. The vibrancy of the figures is due to the oil paint, which was a relatively innovative technique. Ordinarily, they would be encaustic, which means paint mixed with wax, or tempura, which is paint mixed with egg whites. His next work, Martyrdom of St Peter Martyr has been lost. Man with a Glove , , is a portrait of an unknown, but probably moderately wealthy man; Madonna with Saints and members of the Pesaro Family, or the Pesaro Madonna , This piece was a monumental order as well.
Titian: His Life by Sheila Hale – review | Books | The Guardian
This piece shows the family having a sakura conversasiona, or a sacred conversation with Madonna, which is a common scene in privet art. In , Titian married Cecilia, to legitimize his son Pomponio, whom they had had some time before.
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In due course, they had two more children, Orazio and Lavinia, but regrettably, Cecilia died giving birth to Lavinia. The two sons eventually became assistants to Titian, while the daughter was married off when she came of age. Unfortunately, she died at child birth too. To thank Charles for the job, he gave Charles V a self portrait of him-self, which Charles cherished very much.
The Golden Spur is given out to people who have contributed to the glory of the Catholic Church. In , he painted Venus of Urbino. She is naked, lying on the chaise in a sensual position, with a small dog on the floor next to it.
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He carried with him the idealism and beauty that had occupied Giorgione, but added his own innovation and deep understanding of color to his early works. Many of these, such as Assumption of the Virgin and the Pesaro Madonna were met with a twinge of controversy from conservative, older painters because Titian had dared to create unconventional layouts.
Mark Enthroned with Four Saints perhaps most clearly shows his departure from Giorgione in that he strove for a "grandeur based on reality" rather than the whimsical painted poetry that Giorgione preferred. Many claim that this work is a prelude to the Baroque style Brigstocke. During his early career, Titian was also commissioned by the Duke of Ferrara, Alfonso I, to paint a number of mythological scenes, which exemplify his early style.
These include Bacchanal and Bacchus and Ariadne. These paintings contained an energy and motion that had the power to keep viewers entranced. By the s, Titian's career was marked by a wave of portraits for the elite of Europe and his paintings from this time were some of the first that the rest of Europe had seen of the Venetian style, emphasizing color, flowing brushwork and atmospheric tone. During his middle years, and particularly after the sudden death of his wife in , Titian's style took on a more subdued refinement. His work caught the attention of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, who commissioned a number of portraits from the artist.
Titian's advanced years are defined by his preference for somewhat vague forms and vibrant brushstrokes, a style seldom seen again until the 20th century.
Youth and debut
Many of his later subjects were taken from mythology, with his chaotic brushwork only adding to the mystery and power that surround the myths, as can be seen in The Flaying of Marsyas and The Death of Actaeon. Such paintings have a way of transcending the physical - demonstrating Titian's penchant for portraying emotion such as confusion and fury.
Titian often chose to place these paintings in a nocturnal setting, perhaps acknowledging that he was now in the twilight of his own life. Dead Christ Supported by Two Angels. Although often described as an innovator, Titian was influenced by a slew of Italian artists, from his teacher Giovanni Bellini to the great Michelangelo. Although the younger Bellini wasn't Titian's first teacher, Titian spent the bulk of his formative years studying in Bellini's workshop.
Titian is known as the leading painter in the Venetian school but Giovanni Bellini was this school's father - solidifying Venetian art's preference for the senses through the use of luxuriant, blended colors, soft light, and flowing forms. Titian was exposed to this early in his career and took Bellini's lessons to heart, even expanding on them to become the new master of color and light in Venice. Presumably acquainted while both apprenticed under Bellini, Titian and Giorgione quickly formed a friendship and a professional relationship, with Titian acting as Giorgione's assistant on a number of projects.
Ten years Titian's senior, Giorgione had developed a lyrical style that emphasized mood and feeling over form and story. Titian admired this unique take on painting and many of his early works, such as Christ Carrying the Cross are clearly influenced by Giorgione. In the early s, Titian made his first and only visit to Rome, where he was introduced to Michelangelo and started to paint more frequently in the Mannerist style.
The definition of Mannerism is somewhat mixed but scholars agree that it referred to an artist style that was championed in north and central Italy during the midth and early 17th centuries. While some have defined Mannerism as the followers of certain artists such as those who imitated Michelangelo in Florence and those who imitated Titian in Venice , others saw it as a decline in precision and the life-like qualities of paintings produced during the High Renaissance.
Titian: His Life by Sheila Hale – review
The latter camp cites imprecise drawing, washed-out color and a hurried and exaggerated style as the hallmarks of Mannerism. The style can be defined as anti-classical, with artists studying other works of art rather than studying nature. During his life, Titian further developed the Venetian style of painting conceived by Bellini, revolutionizing oil painting techniques with his expressive brushwork.
He had the opportunity during his long life to explore and perfect his craft, sending the Venetian style to Spain and Austria with his commissions. After Titian's death, Italian art had seemingly fallen into two separate camps: The Flemish painter traveled extensively through Italy between and and was exposed to Mannerist paintings and the work of Titian. Rubens also traveled to Madrid as an emissary for the sovereigns of the Spanish Netherlands and saw more of Titian's works on display, such as the Diana paintings, of which he ardently made copies. His Diana and Callisto is the only one that survives.
During Rubens' visit to Spain, he met the young Velazquez and took him to see Titian's paintings, encouraging him to study the Italian masters of painting. The very next year, Velazquez traveled to Italy, collecting numerous works, including some by Titian, as he went.