From Padua in , Titian returned to Venice; and in he obtained a broker's patent in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi state-warehouse for the German merchants , termed La Sanseria or Senseria a privilege much coveted by rising or risen artists , and became superintendent of the government works, being especially charged to complete the paintings left unfinished by Giovanni Bellini in the hall of the great council in the ducal palace. He set up an atelier on the Grand Canal at S. Samuele, the precise site being now unknown.
It was not until , upon the death of Bellini, that he came into actual enjoyment of his patent. At the same time he entered an exclusive arrangement for painting.
Titian - Painter - Biography
The patent yielded him a good annuity of 20 crowns and exempted him from certain taxes - he being bound in return to paint likenesses of the successive Doges of his time at the fixed price of eight crowns each. The actual number he executed was five. Giorgione died in and the aged Giovanni Bellini in , leaving Titian unrivaled in the Venetian School.
For sixty years he was to be the undisputed master of Venetian painting, and as it were, the painter laureate of the Republic Serenissime. As early as he succeeded his master Giovanni Bellini in receiving a pension from the Senate. During this period , which may be called the period of his mastery and maturity, the artist moved on from his early Giorgionesque style, undertook larger and more complex subjects and for the first time attempted a monumental style.
In he produced for the high altar of the church of the Frari, his famous masterpiece, the Assumption of the Virgin, still in situ. This extraordinary piece of colorism, executed on a grand scale rarely before seen in Italy, created a sensation. The Signoria took note, and observed that Titian was neglecting his work in the hall of the great council.
The pictorial structure of the Assumption - that of uniting in the same composition two or three scenes superimposed on different levels, earth and heaven, the temporal and the infinite - was continued in a series of works such as the retable of San Domenico at Ancona , the retable of Brescia , and the retable of San Niccolo , in the Vatican Museum , each time attaining to a higher and more perfect conception, finally reaching a classic formula in the Pesaro Madonna, better known as the Madonna di Ca' Pesaro c.
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This perhaps is his most studied work, whose patiently developed plan is set forth with supreme display of order and freedom, originality and style. Here Titian gave a new conception of the traditional groups of donors and holy persons moving in aerial space, the plans and different degrees set in an architectural framework.
Titian was now at the height of his fame, and towards , following the production of a figure of St. Sebastian for the papal legate in Brescia a work of which there are numerous replicas , purchasers pessed for his work. To this period belongs a more extraordinary work, The Death of St. Only copies and engravings of this proto-Baroque picture remain; it combined extreme violence and a landscape, mostly consisting of a great tree, that pressed into the scene and seems to accentuate the drama in a way that looks forward to the Baroque.
The artist simultaneously continued his series of small Madonnas which he treated amid beautiful landscapes in the manner of genre pictures or poetic pastorals, the Virgin with the Rabbit in the Louvre being the finished type of these pictures. Another work of the same period, also in the Louvre, is the Entombment. This was also the period of the large mythological scenes for the studiolo of Alfonso d'Este in Ferrara, such as the famous Bacchanals of the Prado, and the Bacchus and Ariadne of London, " In he married a lady named Cecilia, thereby legitimizing their first child, Pomponio, and two or perhaps three others followed, including Titian's favorite, Orazio, who became his assistant.
About he became acquainted, and soon exceedingly intimate, with Pietro Aretino, the influential and audacious figure who features so strangely in the chronicles of the time. Titian sent a portrait of him to Gonzaga, duke of Mantua. In August his wife died giving birth to a daughter, Lavinia, and with his three children he moved house, and got his sister Orsa to come from Cadore and take charge of the household. The mansion, difficult to find now, is in the Bin Grande, then a fashionable suburb, at the extreme end of Venice, on the sea, with beautiful gardens and a view towards Murano.
During the next period , Titian developed the style introduced by his dramatic Death of St. Peter Martyr. The Venetian government, dissatisfied with Titian's neglect of the work for the ducal palace, ordered him in to refund the money which he had received, and Pordenone, his rival of recent years, was installed in his place.
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However, at the end of a year Pordenone died, and Titian, who meanwhile applied himself diligently to painting in the hall the Battle of Cadore, was reinstated. This major battle scene, was lost along with so many other major works by Venetian artists by the great fire which destroyed all the old pictures in the great chambers of the Doge's Palace in It represented in life-size the moment at which the Venetian general, D'Alviano attacked the enemy with horses and men crashing down into a stream, and was the artist's most important attempt at a tumultuous and heroic scene of movement to rival Raphael's Battle of Constantine and the equally ill-fated Battle of Cascina of Michelangelo and The Battle of Anghiari of Leonardo both unfinished.
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There remains only a poor, incomplete copy at the Uffizi, and a mediocre engraving by Fontana. The Speech of the Marquis del Vasto Madrid, was also partly destroyed by fire. But this period of the master's work is still represented by the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Venice, , one of his most popular canvasses, and by the Ecce Homo Vienna, Despite its loss, the painting had a great influence on Bolognese art and Rubens, both in the handling of details and the general effect of horses, soldiers, lictors, powerful stirrings of crowds at the foot of a stairway, lit by torches with the flapping of banners against the sky.
Less successful were the pendentives of the cupola at Sta.
These violent scenes viewed in perspective from below - like the famous pendentives of the Sistine Chapel - were by their very nature in unfavorable situations. They were nevertheless much admired and imitated, Rubens among others applying this system to his forty ceilings the sketches only remain of the Jesuit church at Antwerp. At this time also, the time of his visit to Rome, the artist began his series of reclining Venuses The Venus of Urbino of the Uffizi, Venus and Love at the same museum, Venus and the Organ-Player, Madrid , in which is recognized the effect or the direct reflection of the impression produced on the master by contact with ancient sculpture.
Giorgione had already dealt with the subject in his Dresden picture, finished by Titian, but here a purple drapery substituted for a landscape background changed, by its harmonious coloring, the whole meaning of the scene. Titian had from the beginning of his career shown himself to be a masterful portrait-painter, in works like La Bella Eleanora de Gonzaga, Duchess of Urbino, at the Pitti Palace.
He painted the likenesses of princes, or Doges, cardinals or monks, and artists or writers. Among portrait-painters Titian is compared to Rembrandt and Velazquez, with the interior life of the former, and the clearness, certainty, and obviousness of the latter.
The last-named qualities are sufficiently manifested in the Portrait of Paul III of Naples, or the sketch of the same pope and his two nephews, the Portrait of Aretino of the Pitti Palace, the Eleanora of Portugal Madrid , and the series of King Charles V of the same museum, the Charles V with a Greyhound , and especially the Charles V at Muhlberg , an equestrian picture which as a symphony of purples is perhaps the ne plus ultra of the art of painting.
His children were also made nobles of the Empire, which for a painter was an exceptional honor. As a matter of professional and worldly success his position from about this time is regarded as equal only to that of Raphael, Michelangelo, and at a later date Rubens.
In he received a pension from D'Avalos, marquis del Vasto, and an annuity of crowns which was afterwards doubled from Charles V from the treasury of Milan. Another source of profit, for he was always aware of money, was a contract obtained in for supplying grain to Cadore, where he visited almost every year and where he was both generous and influential. Titian had a favorite villa on the neighboring Manza Hill, from which it may be inferred he made his chief observations of landscape form and effect. The so-called Titian's mill, constantly discernible in his studies, is at Collontola, near Belluno.
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He visited Rome in , and obtained the freedom of the city - his immediate predecessor in that honour having been Michelangelo in He could at the same time have succeeded the painter Sebastiano del Piombo in his lucrative office as holder of the piombo or Papal seal, and he was prepared to take holy orders for the purpose; but the project lapsed through his being summoned away from Venice in to paint Charles V and others in Augsburg.
He was there again in , and executed the portrait of Philip II which was sent to England and proved useful in Philip's suit for the hand of Queen Mary. During the last twenty-five years of his life the artist worked mainly for Philip II and as a portrait-painter he became more self-critical, an insatiable perfectionist, keeping some pictures in his studio for ten years, never wearying of returning to them and retouching them, constantly adding new expressions at once more refined, concise, and subtle.
He also finished off many copies of earlier works of his by his pupils, giving rise to many problems of attribution and priority among versions of his works, which were also very widely copied and faked outside his studio, during his lifetime and afterwards.
For each of the problems which he successively undertook he furnished a new and more perfect formula. He never again equaled the emotion and tragedy of the Crowning with Thorns Louvre , in the expression of the mysterious and the divine he never equaled the poetry of the Pilgrims of Emmaus, while in superb and heroic brilliancy he never again executed anything more grand than The Doge Grimani adoring Faith Venice, Doge's Palace , or the Trinity, of Madrid. On the other hand from the standpoint of flesh tints, his most moving pictures are those of his old age, the Dan of Naples and of Madrid, the Antiope of the Louvre, the Rape of Europa Boston, Gardner collection , etc.
He even attempted problems of chiaroscuro in fantastic night effects Martyrdom of St. Laurence, Church of the Jesuits, Venice; St. Jerome, Louvre. In the domain of the real he always remained equally strong, sure, and master of himself; his portraits of Philip II Madrid , those of his daughter, Lavinia, and those of himself are numbered among his masterpieces.
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Titian had engaged his daughter Lavinia, the beautiful girl whom he loved deeply and painted various times, to Cornelio Sarcinelli of Serravalle. She had succeeded her aunt Orsa, then deceased, as the manager of the household, which, with the lordly income that Titian made by this time, placed her on a corresponding footing. Order a Hand-Painted Reproduction of this Painting. Click here for more. Popularity Alphabetical. Annunciation Christ Carrying the Cross c. Empress Isabel of Portugal Sacred and Profane Love Venus and Adonis Danae and the Shower of Gold.
Saint Christopher. Cardinal Alessandro Farnese Diana and Callisto