Dominica, 1988. 500th Birth Anniversary. Self Portrait.

Sierra Leone, 1988. 500th Birth Anniversary. Self Portrait.

The Art of Portrait

    Titian's most important innovations in the years from 1530 to 1550 were made in portraiture. In 1516 he had been named official painter to the Venetian state; thereafter he worked at the courts of Ferrara and Mantua. In the 1530s and 1540s he travelled to Bologna to paint portraits of the Emperor Charles V and Pope Paul III, and at the Pope's behest he visited Rome and met Michelangelo. He joined the court of Charles V at Augsburg, Germany, in 1548 and 1550. As a result of this connection, he obtained a multitude of portrait commissions
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Bhutan, 1988. Portrait of Laura Dianti Bhutan, 1988. Portrait of Johann Friedrich
British Virgin Island, 1988. Man with the Glove Grenada, 1988. Portrait of Andrea de Franceschi Dominica, 1988. Portrait of Andrea Navagero Grenada, 1988. Head of a Soldier

    The neutral atmospheric backgrounds of the earlier portraits might be replaced by cannily disposed elements of setting, such as a column, a curtain, or a view into landscape. These elements, and the patterns in which Titian arranged them, remained staples of formal portraiture into the 20th century. In general, these court portraits are images of command rather than explorations of personality. In some portraits of the 1540s, however, Titian used his unsurpassed skills as a visual dramatist to compel the viewer's participation in the sitter's inner life.

Maldives, 1988. Portrait of Francesco Maria della Rovere Bhutan, 1988. Venus (detail from Venus Blindfolding Cupid)
Grenada, 1988. Portrait of a Man Gambia, 1988. Portrait of Ranuccio Farnese Gambia, 1988. Portrait of Emperor Charles V Sierra Leone, 1988. Portrait of a Young Man

Background: The Death of Actaeon. National Gallery, London. 

Created: 2/25/00. Revised: 07/03/00. Copyright 2000 by Victor Manta, Switzerland. All rights reserved worldwide.

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