Titian: His Life
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The first definitive biography of the master painter in more than a century, Titian: His Life is being hailed as a "landmark achievement" for critically acclaimed author Sheila Hale (Publishers Weekly). Brilliant in its interpretation of the 16th-century master's paintings, this monumental biography of Titian draws on contemporary accounts and recent art historical research and scholarship, some of it previously unpublished, providing an unparalleled portrait of the artist, as well as a fascinating rendering of Venice as a center of culture, commerce, and power. Sheila Hale's Titian is destined to be this century's authoritative text on the life of greatest painter of the Italian High Renaissance.
Venetian writer Lodovico Dolce’s L’Aretino published in 1557 and Giorgio Vasari’s ‘Life of Titian’ in the second, 1568, edition of his Lives of the Artists; two more in the next century by an anonymous writer who may have been a distant relative (1622) and by Carlo Ridolfi in his Marvels of Art (1648), as well as numerous letters written to, by and about him. Over successive centuries writers and artists have explored and described his paintings and the spell they cast. This book, however, is the
fellow artists of their livings and being trapped in Rome for life were two of them, as Aretino, who wrote him a letter of congratulation for his largeness of soul in turning down the offer, knew better than anyone. The two friends, as they gossiped over their dinners, may have laughed at the very idea of Titian in the service of the papal court – the writer who despised all courts and had made a particular point of satirizing the papal court14 and the painter who had consistently refused to
breasts. The paradox struck a young Florentine nobleman who recorded a visit he had paid to Titian’s studio at around the time he was working on the Magdalen sold to Badoer and the one sent to Philip. There I met Titian, almost immobilised by age who, despite the fact that he was appreciated for painting from the life, showed me a very attractive Magdalen in the desert. Also I remember now that I told him she was too attractive, so fresh and dewy, for such penitence. Having understood that I
as possible. We don’t know for certain if she saw it in situ before she died in 1559 because there is no documented mention of it before Hernández’s letter to Pérez. Titian’s source was the account of the martyrdom of St Lawrence in The Golden Legend in which the Roman emperor Decius commands the saint, ‘Sacrifice to the gods or thou shalt pass the night in torments,’ and Lawrence answers: ‘My night hath no darkness. All things shine with light.’ Those lines prompted Titian to explore the
working on a panel or canvas, which, so the governor understood from de Silva, the painter was making anew; he could only hope that it would ever be finished. It was in fact ready for dispatch in December when Ayamonte told de Silva that, even though it had not yet arrived, he would trust his judgement and do what he could to release at least some of the pension. He did not in fact sign the mandate until 12 February of the next year (and even then his officials dragged their heels), perhaps