Tiziano Vecellio Titian Biography | Oil Paintings.

11-1490 Venice, ITA – 8-27-1576 Venice, ITA

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Titian, Tiziano Vecellio

Tiziano Vecelli Titian greatest and most versatile artist of the Venetian Renaissance, Titian excelled equally at portraiture, religious pictures, and mythological scenes. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of color, would exercise a profound influence not only on painters of the Italian Renaissance but on future generations of Western art.

Born in the Dolomite region, Tiziano Vecellio Titian arrived in Venice as a young boy and was apprenticed to a mosaicist. Turning to painting, he entered the studio of Giovanni Bellini, before joining forces with Giorgione. After Giorgione's premature death in 1510, Titian's star rose quickly. In 1511, he gained a major commission for frescoes in Padua, and in 1516 was appointed as the official painter of the Venetian Republic.

Held by the Galleria Borghese in Rome, and still known by its conventional eighteenth-century title, Sacred and Profane Love is now rightly interpreted as a magnificent and auspicious wedding gift from the Venetian nobleman Nicolo Aurelio to his bride, Laura Bagarotto. The large-scale canvas was painted at a dramatic time since a serious fire had recently devastated the Rialto market, the hub of Venetian trade. This tragic event, at a moment when relations with the Spanish court were tense and Venice was at war with the Turks in Dalmatia and Friuli, symbolized the end of the mercantile age and the need for profound changes in commercial life, public buildings, and everyday habits. That same year, Giovanni Bellini's Feast of the Gods, representing a large group of figures in a pastoral setting, for the Duke of Ferrara Alfonso d'Este, sparked a new interest in mythological subjects in Venetian art. Titian's response, who aspired to succeed the aging Bellini as Painter to the Republic, was the so-called Sacred and Profane Love. The work contains a number of bold innovations, including the presence of a female nude and its size, which was very unusual for an allegorical theme. Unlike Giorgione's delicate tones, the colors are more densely applied and full of expressive power. The two beautiful women, so alike that they could be twins, are dressed in contrasting ways, one wearing sumptuous clothes and one virtually nude. According to traditional classical and medieval iconography, the simultaneous presence of two women, one nude and one clothed, does not signify an opposition, but a complimentary balance. The clothed woman alludes to marital love, while the nude woman raises love to an eternal, celestial plane symbolized by the lamp. The Senate of the Venetian Republic, generally in favor of more cautious reforms in the field of art, must have been struck by the innovative force of the work, for in 1514 Titian received his first commission for the Doge's Palace, and success was now not far away.

He who Wishes to be a Painter must Know Three Colors, White, Red, And Black, and be the Master of them.

On the clock tower in the Piazza San Marco, built by Mauro Codussi, one of the countless winged Venetian lions stands guard over passing time. From its vantage point, it witnessed Titian's replacement of Giovanni Bellini as the Venetian Republic's official painter, a highly prestigious position with very few duties, virtually the only one being to paint the Doge's portrait, and a huge salary drawn from the salt tax. There were numerous other benefits as well, such as being exempt from taxes. Giovanni Bellini was appointed in 1843 and held the post until he died in December 1516. the following week, his place was taken by the eager youthful Titian, who in turn, remained court painter for a full sixty years. The only interruption was during a very brief period when the Senate imposed a “punishment” for yet another delay in the delivery of a particular painting for the Doge's palace. Thus, the Venetian School, so blessed with painters of the highest quality, was led by only two, unrivaled masters almost throughout the entire Renaissance, from 1483 to 1576.

This honor enhanced Tiziano Vecellio Titian's international reputation and soon, offers of work began to flow in from the princely rulers of Ferrara, Urbino, and Mantua.

Throughout his long life, Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) dominated painting thanks to his inventiveness and brilliant use of color. A pupil of Giovanni Bellini, he also worked with Giorgione, but by around 1515 he was the undisputed master of the Venetian School, praised by intellectuals, admired by collectors, and increasingly sought after by the noble courts. The Assumption of Mary, this work was presented on May 18, 1518, a memorable date for Venetian painting. Those who first saw it were astonished and disconcerted. Father Germano Casale, who had commissioned it, wondered whether the rough fishermen had sufficient “decorum” to represent the Disciples. The Austrian ambassador offered to buy it, as the author Ludovico Dolce wrote in 1557.

During the 1520's his fame began to spread, and in addition to major commissions in Venice, he painted many works for the Gonzaga and Este courts, establishing himself as one of the most acclaimed portrait painters in Europe, to the extent that Pietro Aretino became, to all intent and purposes, his “agent”.

The painter did not always accept these commissions, as he was notoriously reluctant to travel, but some patrons could not be refused. The most distinguished of these was the Emperor Charles V. After the initial meeting in 1529, Titian was appointed Pintor Primero (Court Painter), and given the rank of Count Palatine, making the beginning of a relationship with the Spanish court that was to last over thirty years. Equestrian Portrait of Charles V, an illustrious prototype of the equestrian portrait, it was often imitated throughout the Baroque period. The fiery sunset that filters through the trees in the background is particularly impressive. It was not until the 1540's that, with the advent of Mannerism, Titian visited Rome, where he met Michelangelo. The Venus of Urbino, painted approximately twenty years after the Dresden Venus (Sleeping Venus), Titian abandoned the contemplative style of Giorgione for a more direct immediacy.

On his return to Venice, starting in 1548 apart from two visits to the Imperial Court at Augsburg, and his services were also prized by Charle's successor, Philip II, he began to become increasingly isolated from the mainstream. The masterpieces of this late period are characterized by extremely free handling and rendering form as dense patches of color. Pieta, Titian's final, harrowing work, left unfinished, was intended for his tomb (the figure of Nicodemus on the right is a self-portrait) in the Frari Church, for which he had painted the Assumption of Mary fifty years earlier. Now almost ninety years old, Titian took his sublime late style to the extreme,

Titian went beyond the social and cultural limits of the Renaissance art, and in many ways, can be seen as the founder of modern painting. His interpretation of mythological and classical scenes are not only the proof of an unrivaled talent as a painter but also a profound and poetic exploration of human destiny.

Two of Titian's works in private hands have been up for sale. One of these works, Diana and Actaeon, was purchased by London's National Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland in 2009 for US$71.0 million. In 2011, Madonna and Child with Saints Luke and Catherine of Alexandria was sold for US$16.9 million.

Art Movement: Renaissance Art.
Artists Influencing Tiziano Vecellio Titian: Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione.
He Traveled To Germany.
Painters Tiziano Vecelli Titian Influenced: El Greco, Paris Bordone, Bonifazio Veronese, Tintoretto, Paul Rubens, Diego Velasquez, Rembrandt, Tiepolo, Edouard Manet, Francis Bacon.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.

Tiziano Vecellio Titian Hand-Painted Oil Painting Reproductions.

Tiziano Vecellio Titian Museum Art Replicas on Canvas.

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