36 Facts About Titian


Titian's painting methods, particularly in the application and use of colour, exercised a profound influence not only on painters of the late Italian Renaissance, but on future generations of Western artists.


Titian's career was successful 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.


The exact time or date of Titian's birth is uncertain.


Titian was the son of Gregorio Vecellio and his wife Lucia, of whom little is known.


Many relatives, including Titian's grandfather, were notaries, and the family was well-established in the area, which was ruled by Venice.


In 1512 Titian returned to Venice from Padua; in 1513 he obtained La Senseria in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi.


Titian became superintendent of the government works, especially charged with completing the paintings left unfinished by Giovanni Bellini in the hall of the great council in the ducal palace.

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Titian set up an atelier on the Grand Canal at S Samuele, the precise site being now unknown.


The Signoria took note and observed that Titian was neglecting his work in the hall of the great council, but in 1516 he succeeded his master Giovanni Bellini in receiving a pension from the Senate.


Titian was then at the height of his fame, and towards 1521, following the production of a figure of St Sebastian for the papal legate in Brescia, purchasers pressed for his work.


Finally this was the period when Titian composed the half-length figures and busts of young women, such as Flora in the Uffizi and Woman with a Mirror in the Louvre.


Titian painted the likenesses of princes, or Doges, cardinals or monks, and artists or writers.


Titian's children were made nobles of the Empire, which for a painter was an exceptional honor.


Titian had a favourite villa on the neighboring Manza Hill from which he made his chief observations of landscape form and effect.


Titian was there again in 1550, and executed the portrait of Philip II, which was sent to England and was useful in Philip's suit for the hand of Queen Mary.


Titian finished many copies that his pupils made of his earlier works.


Titian even attempted problems of chiaroscuro in fantastic night effects.


Titian had engaged his daughter Lavinia, the beautiful girl whom he loved deeply and painted various times, to Cornelio Sarcinelli of Serravalle.


Titian had succeeded her aunt Orsa, then deceased, as the manager of the household, which, with the lordly income that Titian made by this time, placed her on a corresponding footing.


Titian was at the Council of Trent towards 1555, of which there is a finished sketch in the Louvre.


Around 1560, Titian painted the oil on canvas Madonna and Child with Saints Luke and Catherine of Alexandria, a derivative on the motif of Madonna and Child.


Titian continued to accept commissions to the end of his life.


Titian had selected, as his burial place, the chapel of the Crucifix in the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, the church of the Franciscan Order.


Titian nearly finished this work, but differences arose regarding it, and he settled on being interred in his native Pieve.


Titian was interred in the Frari, as at first intended, and his Pieta was finished by Palma il Giovane.

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Titian never attempted engraving, but he was very conscious of the importance of printmaking as a means to expand his reputation.


Titian employed an extensive array of pigments and it can be said that he availed himself of virtually all available pigments of his time.


Titian's wife, Cecilia, was a barber's daughter from his hometown village of Cadore.


Titian remarried, but little information is known about his second wife; she was possibly the mother of his daughter Lavinia.


Titian had a fourth child, Emilia, the result of an affair, possibly with a housekeeper.


Titian sent a portrait of him to Gonzaga, duke of Mantua.


Tintoretto had only been ten days in the studio when Titian sent him home for good, because the great master observed some very spirited drawings, which he learned to be the production of Tintoretto; it is inferred that he became at once jealous of so promising a student.


Francesco Vecellio, his older brother, was introduced to painting by Titian, and painted in the church of S Vito in Cadore a picture of the titular saint armed.


Titian has left some able productions in the ducal palace, the Meeting of Charles V and Clement VII in 1529; in San Giacomo di Rialto, an Annunciation; in Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Christ Fulminant.


Giulio Clovio said Titian employed El Greco in his last years.


Titian hair has been used to describe red hair, almost always on women, since the 19th century.