Movement, Style, School or Type of Art:
Italian High Renaissance, Venetian School
Date and Place of Birth:
Either around 1477 or around 1488, Pieve di Cadore, Italy
The date of Titian's birth has been hotly disputed by different sources who've pieced together evidence. Records being what they were at the time, no one can say for sure when he was born. (Titian himself didn't know.) The only thing that's certain is that he was an extremely old man when he died, even by modern standards.
Titian was acknowledged as the master painter in Venice during the period we now call the High Renaissance. He received early training from prominent Venetian painters including both Gentile and Giovanni Bellini, and absorbed much about color and technique from his affiliation with Giorgione. His work is characterized by pure colors and idealized beauty in nature and humans. He also pioneered sketching quick underpaintings, rather than detailed underdrawings, when faced with a blank canvas.
Titian became the official painter to the Republic in 1516, but bigger fame arose in the 1530s when Emperor Charles V commissioned a series of portraits. Charles was so favorably impressed that he conferred a knighthood on the artist, and it became almost mandatory for anyone of the nobility to be "done" by Titian. As a result, his works were distrubuted from Spain to Bavaria, and heavily throughout Italy. Though Titian occasionally traveled, the vast bulk of his work was executed in Venice.
In his later years, he was much sought after to paint "Venus" figures for wealthy patrons. Titian's work gradually became ever more free, and he seemed to paint from pure emotion as if nothing ever needed to be over-deliberated and anything could be (and frequently was) painted over until the artist felt satisfied. This liberating mindset, along with his masterful techniques, made Titian an inspiration to - and influence of - many artists who came after him.
- Sacred and Profane Love, ca. 1515
- The Assumption of the Virgin, 1516-18
- Bacchanal of the Andrians, 1520
- Pope Paul III and His Grandsons, 1546
- Rape of Europa, 1559-62
Date and Place of Death:
August 26, 1576, Venice, Italy
How To Pronounce "Titian":
A Quote by Titian:
- "I think I am beginning to learn something about painting." (this said while he was in his 70s)
Sources and Further Reading
- Gould, Cecil. "Titian"
Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press, 21 April 2005.