10 facts about Titian

By Gwylym Owen

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Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio (pronounced [titˈtsjaːno veˈtʃɛlljo]; c. 1488/90 – 27 August 1576), known in English as Titian ( TISH-ən), was a Venetian painter during the Renaissance, considered the most important fanatic of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno. During his lifetime he was often called da Cadore, ‘from Cadore’, taken from his indigenous region.

Recognized by his contemporaries as “The Sun Amidst Small Stars” (recalling the truth line of Dante’s Paradiso), Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally gifted with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of colour, exercised a highbrow influence not only upon painters of the late Italian Renaissance, but on future generations of Western art.

His career was rich from the start, and he became sought after by patrons, initially from Venice and its possessions, then joined by the north Italian princes, and finally the Habsburgs and papacy. Along afterward Giorgione, he is considered a founder of the Venetian School of Italian Renaissance painting.

During the course of his long life, Titian’s artistic manner changed drastically, but he retained a lifelong engagement in colour. Although his mature works may not contain the vivid, luminous tints of his to the lead pieces, their in limbo brushwork and subtlety of heavens were without precedent in the records of Western painting.[citation needed]

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