- (Tiziano Vecellio, ca. 1487-1576)The leading Venetian painter of the 16th century. He was born in northern Italy to an aris-tocratic family and was trained at Venice, first under a mosaicist, Se-bastiano Zuccato, but chiefly under the prominent painter Gentile Bellini. He may also have worked under Giovanni Bellini and Gior-gione before becoming an independent master. His early Bacchanal (1518) pursues an openly pagan theme and reflects the influence of ancient art as well as familiarity with engravings representing the great works of the High Renaissance at Rome. The animated quality of his painting is also evident in his religious works such as Madonna with Members of the Pesaro Family (1526). His most notable reli-gious works were the Assumption of the Virgin, The Entombment, and Christ Crowned with Thorns.After the premature death of Raphael, Titian became the most sought-after portraitist of the century. A striking individual portrait, Man with the Glove (1520), demonstrates the qualities that led to his dominance. His first portrait of the Emperor Charles V (1533) es-tablished his international reputation. The most striking reflection of human character in his portraits is Paul III and His Grandsons (1546), which demonstrates his ability to capture the dominating per-sonality of its central figure, the pope. Titian executed several addi-tional portraits and other works for Charles V, who granted him a patent of nobility, and he later served the emperor's son, Philip II of Spain, beginning with a portrait (1550-1551) but also including works based on classical mythology.As the greatest representative of the Venetian Renaissance tradition, Titian made striking use of color and lighting. He also made designs for several woodcuts that were printed and diffused widely through-out Europe and so spread his reputation far beyond Italy and Spain.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.