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Titian

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TITIAN (Tiztaxo VECELLI ) , the greatest painter of the Venetian school and one of the world's greatest painters: b. Pieve in Cadore, a district in the Venetian or Carnic 'Alps, 1477; d. Venice, 27 Aug. 1576. He was the son of Gregorio di Conte Vecelli, a descendant of an ancient family and a man of some note in his province. It was the custom of this family to follow arms or the law, but young Titian showed such genius for art that at the age of nine or 10 he was sent to Venice to learn paint ing. He studied under Gentile Bellini and afterward with Giovanni Bellini and then at tached himself to Giorgione, who was, the idol of the day. Master and pupil worked together on the outside frescoes for the new Fondaco dei Tedeschi, the exchange of the German mer chants in Venice. After Giorgione's sudden death by the plague in 1510, Titian completed several of his master's works. Titian's pic tures of this period show much similarity to Giorgione's and are often referred to as gGiorgionesque Titians.>> One of the most famous is 'Sacred and Profane Love' (in the Borghese Gallery in Rome), about which so much has been written. To this period also belong the 'Virgil.' and Child) (Vienna Gal lery), popularly called (La Zingafella); the Bishop of Paphos, or 'Baffo> (Antwerp Gal lery) ; 'Saint Mark' (in the Salute. Venice); the 'Three Ages> (Bridgewater Gallery Eng land); 'Madonna of the Cherries> (Vienna Gallery); 'Daughter of Herodias' (Doria Gal lery, Rome) ; 'Christ with the Tribute Money' (Dresden Gallery) and 'Non me Tangere> (National Gallery, London).

In 1511 Titian went to Padua to paint a series of frescoes in the Senola di S. Angelo and returned to Venice in 1513, where he be came superintendent of government works and was ordered to complete the paintings left un finished by Giovanni Bellini in the Hall of the Great Council of the Doge's Palace. Here he painted the portraits of five successive Doges. In 1514 he was invited to the Court of Alfonso, Duke of Ferrara, for whom he painted many charming works, including the 'Worship of Venus) and the (Bacchanel,) with Ariadne dozing over her wine-cup (both in the Prado, Madrid), and the superb 'Bacchus and Ariadne' (in the National Gallery, London). At Ferrara he formed a friendship with Ariosto and Amino. whose portraits he painted. In 1516, while painting these delightfully decorative and pagan triumphs of Bacchus and Venus, he began work on the 'Assume,' or 'Assumption of the Virgin,) for the church of S. Marie Gloriosa dci Frari, Venice (now in the Venice Academy). This was finished in 1518 and cre ated a sensation, for it was considered the most astonishing performance in color on a grand scale that had as yet been executed. The same gallery now preserves the famous 'Presentation of the Virgin,) a large and much restored picture, and one of 'Titian's masterpieces of masterpieces. In 1526 he completed the 'Pesaro on he had worked for seven years. This is still in the church of the Fran and represents the Madonna en throned with adoring saints, including Saint George, and members of the aristocratic Pesaro family beneath the group. The 'Colmar° Fam

ily,) belonging to the Duke of Northumberland, is a work of the same general character. The 'Entombment of Christ' (in the Louvre) is another early work, and 'Christ Crowned with Thorns' (also in the Louvre) still shows the influence of Giorgione.

In 1525 Titian married. Nothing is known about his wife, who died in 1530, leaving three children, one the infant Lavinia, of whom Titian painted so many beautiful portraits. Titian now removed to a fine house in the Biri Grande, a fashionable suburb of Venice, where he had beautiful gardens sweeping down to the sea. Here he had his sister do the honors of his establishment and here he entertained lavishly and charmingly. In 1532 he painted a portrait of Charles V, the emperor, in Bologna, and was, in consequence, created a Count Palatine and a Knight of the Golden Spur. His two sons were also made nobles of the empire—a most unusual honor for a painter. From this time onward Titian enjoyed a worldly success greater than that any other painters ever had accorded to them, with the exception of Raphael, Michelangelo and Rubens. In 1540 D'Avalos, Marquis del Vasto, gave him a pension and Charles V an annuity of 2.000 crowns (afterward doubled) on the treasury of Milan. When visiting Rome in 1546 he was given the freedom of the city. In 1550 he painted the famous portrait of Philip II of Spain, which helped his suit for the hand of Queen Mary of England. Notwithstanding the many statements that Titian visited Spain, mod em authorities affirm that he never was there. He traveled much in Italy and went to Augs burg and was at the Council of Trent in 1555. In 1565 he went to Cadore to design decora tions ter the church at Pieve, his native town. He spent most of his life, however, in Venice, where he worked until the last moments of his life. Vasari saw him with brushes in hand painting furiously. Titian was, according to most authorities, 99 when he died of the plague, then raging in Venice. Vasari gives his birth as 1480, but Titian, writing to Philip II in 1571, said he was 95. He was buried in the church of the Frari near his famous painting, the 'Madonna di Casa Pesaro.) Canova's monu ment now marks his grave. His son, Oragio, died of the plague a few days after Tivan. He, too, was a painter, but overshadowed by his father's greatness. In the confusion and riotous days of the plague Titian's splendid villa was entered and plundered by thieves. Titian's last painting was a 'Pieta,' which was finished by Palma Giovine. Although Titian lived in grand style and had many orders, he seems to have had much trouble in collecting his payments; for his correspondence is full of appeals to his debtors. He gave splendid entertainments and attracted the most brilliant men of the age. It is related that when Henri• III of France passed through Venice on his way from Poland to take the French throne, he called on Titian with his suite of noblemen and that the painter presented him as a gift with all the pictures of which he inquired the prict.

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