Titian, or Tiziano Vecellio
Titian, or Tiziano Vecellio one of the greatest of Italian painters, and the prince of colorists and portrait-painters, was born in the territory of Venice, at Capo del Cadore, in 1477. His early passion for art was carefully cultivated by his parents, who placed him under the instruction of Antonio Rossi of Cadore. At the age of ten years he was sent to Trevigi, and became the pupil of Sebastiano Zuccati. He studied in the school of the Bellini, first with Gentile and afterwards with Giovanni, with whom he was fellow-pupil with Giorgione, his own future rival. On the death of Giorgione, Titian rose rapidly in favor, and was soon afterwards invited to the court of Alphonso, duke of Ferrara. In 1523 the Senate of Venice employed him to decorate the hall of the council-chamber; and in 1530 he went to Bologna and painted a portrait of Charles V, who had come to be crowned by pope Clement VII. About this time he was invited to the court of the duke of Mantua, and in 1543 he met pope Paul III at Ferrara, by whom he was invited to Rome, but was obliged to decline by reason of previous engagements with the duke of Urbino. He went to Rome in 1548, where he was received with marks of great distinction, and where he met Michael Angelo. Declining the office of the leaden seal, he returned to Venice only to receive an invitation from Charles V to visit the court of Spain, and reached Madrid in 1550. Here he became a gentleman of the emperor's bedchamber, a count palatine of the empire, received the Order of St. Jago, and had bestowed upon him an annual income of two hundred ducats. After a residence of three years at Madrid, he returned to Venice, which he soon left for Innsbruck. Returning again to Venice, he continued there until his death, of the plague, Aug. 27, 1576. There is no list of the works of Titian, and it would not be an easy task to make one. One of his grandest achievements is the Assumption of the Virgin. From 1520 to 1530 the most celebrated of his works were, St. Peter Martyr: — Victory of the Venetians over the Janissaries: and St. Sebastian. Other noted paintings are, Annunciation (1537): —Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles (1541): — Sacrifice of Abraha (eod.): —David and Goliath (eod.): —Death of Abel (eod.) The Virgini (1543): —San Tiziano (eod.). Among the religious works which he executed for Philip II of Spain are, The Last Supper: — Christ in the Garden : —St. Margaret with the Dragon: —and a
Martyrdom of San Lorenzo. The Academy of Venice contains his Assumption and Presentation of the Virgin, and the Manfrini Palace in the same city The Entombment of Christ. In the Escurial is a Last Supper, upon which he labored seven years; in the Uffizi Gallery, A Virgin and Child with Saints; and in the Vatican, Christ Crowned with Thorns. See Northcote, Life of Titian (Lond. 1830, 2 vols.); Crowe and Cavalcaselle, Life of Titian (1875); Spooner, Biog. Dict. of the Fine Arts, s.v.