Titian

Nichols, T. (2011) Titian. In: Oxford Bibligraphies Online: Renaissance and Reformation. Oxford University Press. (doi:10.1093/OBO/9780195399301-0128)

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Abstract

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio, b. c. 1488–d. 1576) was born in the remote mountain village of Pieve di Cadore but worked in Venice. He quickly became the dominant painter in the city, and by the end of his long career he was the most famous and wealthy artist in Europe. His oil paintings (particularly his portraits) were much loved and sought after by courtly and aristocratic patrons in many countries and had a major impact on leading Baroque painters, such as Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony Van Dyck, and Diego Velasquez. On a critical level, however, idealist art theorists considered them too naturalistic and thus as less perfect in design (disegno) than Italian works from Florence and Rome. It was only toward the end of the 18th century, as cultural values shifted, that Titian’s paintings began to be taken seriously again as works of art. Under the impact of Romanticism and then modernism, Titian’s works were rapidly rehabilitated, their intense naturalism and masterly freedom of brushwork serving as a model for the newly individualistic cultural values. Interest in every aspect of Titian’s life and work quickly burgeoned: archival documents were gathered and published, and a newly historical image of Titian emerged. From the mid-20th century onward, attention shifted from a presiding concern with artistic form toward context, with new attention paid to Titian’s patterns of patronage; to his subject matter (literary and philosophical sources), materials, and techniques; and to the audience and critical reception of his paintings. More recently still scholars have intensified this kind of contextual understanding, focusing less on Titian as an individual genius and more on his place within wider cultural webs of material practice and meaning.

Item Type:Book Sections
Additional Information:Annotated scholarly bibliography with 150 citations
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nichols, Dr Tom
Authors: Nichols, T.
Subjects:N Fine Arts > ND Painting
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Journal Name:Oxford Bibliographies Online
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Published Online:01 January 2011

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