Petrus Christus was an Early Netherlandish painter active in Bruges from 1444, along with Hans Memling, he became the leading painter after the death of Jan van Eyck. Today, some 30 works are attributed to him. Christus was a figure for centuries, his importance not established until the work of modern art historians. Giorgio Vasari barely mentions him in his biographies of painters, written in the Renaissance, in the early to mid-nineteenth century, Gustav Waagen and Johann David Passavant were important in establishing Christuss biographical details and in attributing works to him. Christus was born in Baarle, near Antwerp and Breda, long considered a student of and successor to Jan van Eyck, his paintings have sometimes been confused with those of van Eyck. At the death of van Eyck in 1441, it is thought that Christus took over his masters workshop, had he been an active pupil in van Eycks Bruges workshop in 1441, he would have received his citizenship automatically after the customary period of one year and one day.
Christus may have been van Eycks successor in the Bruges school, a document testifying to the presence of a Piero da Bruggia in Milan may suggest that he visited that city at the same time as Antonello, and the two artists may even have met. It would explain how Italian painters learned about oil painting, along with Giovanni Bellini, was one of the first Italian painters to use oil paint like his Netherlandish contemporaries. And Christus Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints Francis and Jerome in Frankfurt, a late work, the reserved Portrait of a Young Girl belongs among the masterworks of Early Netherlandish painting, marking a new development in Netherlandish portraiture. It no longer shows the sitter in front of a neutral background, Christus had already perfected this format in his two portraits of 1446. Christus died in Bruges in 1475 or 1476, Hans Memling succeeded him as the next great painter in Bruges. Christus produced at least six signed and dated works, which form the basis for any other attributions to him and these are, the Portrait of Edward Grymeston, the Portrait of a Carthusian, the so-called St.
In addition, a pair of panels in the Groeningemuseum in Bruges bears a date of 1452, but its authenticity is suspect. Oclc. org, 15th to 18th century European paintings, Central Europe, the Netherlands, Spain,2 Painting by or after Petrus Christus at the Art UK site
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lucas Cranach the Elder was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving. He painted religious subjects, first in the Catholic tradition and he continued throughout his career to paint nude subjects drawn from mythology and religion. He had a workshop and many works exist in different versions, his son Lucas Cranach the Younger. Lucas Cranach the Elder has been considered the most successful German artist of his time and he was born at Kronach in upper Franconia, probably in 1472. His exact date of birth is unknown and he learned the art of drawing from his father Hans Maler. His mother, with surname Hübner, died in 1491, the name of his birthplace was used for his surname, another custom of the times. How Cranach was trained is not known, but it was probably with local south German masters, as with his contemporary Matthias Grünewald, there are suggestions that Cranach spent some time in Vienna around 1500. According to Gunderam Cranach demonstrated his talents as a painter before the close of the 15th century and his work drew the attention of Duke Friedrich III, Elector of Saxony, known as Frederick the Wise, who attached Cranach to his court in 1504.
Cranach was to remain in the service of the Elector and his successors for the rest of his life, Cranach married Barbara Brengbier, the daughter of a burgher of Gotha and born there, she died at Wittenberg on 26 December 1540. Cranach owned a house at Gotha, but most likely he got to know Barbara near Wittenberg, where her family owned a house. The first evidence of Cranachs skill as an artist comes in a picture dated 1504, in 1509 Cranach went to the Netherlands, and painted the Emperor Maximilian and the boy who afterwards became Emperor Charles V. Until 1508 Cranach signed his works with his initials, in that year the elector gave him the winged snake as an emblem, or Kleinod, which superseded the initials on his pictures after that date. Cranach was the painter to the electors of Saxony in Wittenberg. His patrons were powerful supporters of Martin Luther, and Cranach used his art as a symbol of the new faith, Cranach made numerous portraits of Luther, and provided woodcut illustrations for Luthers German translation of the Bible.
Somewhat the duke conferred on him the monopoly of the sale of medicines at Wittenberg, Cranachs presses were used by Martin Luther. His apothecary shop was open for centuries, and was only lost by fire in 1871, like his patron, was friendly with the Protestant Reformers at a very early stage, yet it is difficult to fix the time of his first meeting with Martin Luther. The oldest reference to Cranach in Luthers correspondence dates from 1520, in a letter written from Worms in 1521, Luther calls him his gossip, warmly alluding to his Gevatterin, the artists wife. He was godfather to their first child, Johannes Hans Luther, in 1530 Luther lived at the citadel of Veste Coburg under the protection of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and his room is preserved there along with a painting of him
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period. Raphael was enormously productive, running a large workshop and, despite his death at 37. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, the best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings and he was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking. Raphael was born in the small but artistically significant central Italian city of Urbino in the Marche region and his poem to Federico shows him as keen to show awareness of the most advanced North Italian painters, and Early Netherlandish artists as well.
In the very court of Urbino he was probably more integrated into the central circle of the ruling family than most court painters. Under them, the court continued as a centre for literary culture, growing up in the circle of this small court gave Raphael the excellent manners and social skills stressed by Vasari. Castiglione moved to Urbino in 1504, when Raphael was no longer based there but frequently visited, Raphael mixed easily in the highest circles throughout his life, one of the factors that tended to give a misleading impression of effortlessness to his career. He did not receive a humanistic education however, it is unclear how easily he read Latin. His mother Màgia died in 1491 when Raphael was eight, followed on August 1,1494 by his father, Raphael was thus orphaned at eleven, his formal guardian became his only paternal uncle Bartolomeo, a priest, who subsequently engaged in litigation with his stepmother. He probably continued to live with his stepmother when not staying as an apprentice with a master and he had already shown talent, according to Vasari, who says that Raphael had been a great help to his father.
A self-portrait drawing from his teenage years shows his precocity and his fathers workshop continued and, probably together with his stepmother, Raphael evidently played a part in managing it from a very early age. In Urbino, he came into contact with the works of Paolo Uccello, previously the court painter, and Luca Signorelli, according to Vasari, his father placed him in the workshop of the Umbrian master Pietro Perugino as an apprentice despite the tears of his mother. The evidence of an apprenticeship comes only from Vasari and another source, an alternative theory is that he received at least some training from Timoteo Viti, who acted as court painter in Urbino from 1495. An excess of resin in the varnish often causes cracking of areas of paint in the works of both masters, the Perugino workshop was active in both Perugia and Florence, perhaps maintaining two permanent branches. Raphael is described as a master, that is to say fully trained and his first documented work was the Baronci altarpiece for the church of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino in Città di Castello, a town halfway between Perugia and Urbino.
Evangelista da Pian di Meleto, who had worked for his father, was named in the commission
Portrait of a Young Girl (Christus)
Portrait of a Young Girl is a small oil-on-oak panel painting by the Early Netherlandish painter Petrus Christus. It was completed towards the end of his life, between 1465 and 1470, and is held in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin and it is widely regarded as one of the most exquisite portraits of the Northern Renaissance. Art historian Joel Upton described the sitter as resembling a polished pearl, almost opalescent, the panel builds on the work of Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, and was highly influential in the decades after its completion. Its appeal lies in part in her intriguing stare, accentuated by the slight misalignment of her eyes, Christus frames his sitter in a rigid and balanced architectural setting. She is positioned within a rectangular space, before a wainscotted wall. The image is divided by the parallel lines of her wainscot and blouse. It is defined entirely by its material, a dado rail along the top. The wall sets her in an interior, perhaps intended to represent a space within her home.
Light falls on the space from the left, creating shadows against the back wall. The depth of space provided by the back wall gives room for this detailing, the light throws a murky but curved shadow on the wall behind the girl and acts as a counterpoint to the contour of her cheek and hairline. The girl has pale skin and slightly oriental eyes and she is dressed in expensive clothing and jewellery and seems to be uncommonly elegant. She looks out of the canvas in an oblique but self-aware, joanna Woods-Marsden remarks that a sitter acknowledging her audience in this way was virtually unprecedented even in Italian portrait painting. Her acknowledgment is accentuated by the crop, which focuses the viewers gaze in a near-invasive manner that seems to question the relationship between artist, model and viewer. The headdress is a variant of the truncated or bee-hive hennin, fashionable at the Burgundian court. A very similar style, with no tail, is seen on the older of two girls in the panels of Presentation of Christ by the Master of the Prado Adoration of the Magi.
The influence of van Eyck can be seen in the rendering of the textures and details of the dress, trimmings. Her pale skin and strong bone structure is strongly van Eyckian, but in other ways Christus abandons the developments made by van Eyck and Robert Campin. As well as a Christus signature, he found an identification of the sitter as a niece of the famous Talbots and his research led to a consensus that the sitter was a member of the leading English family, the Talbots, headed by the Earl of Shrewsbury
It is named after the city of Potsdam, some 25 km to the south west, and marks the point where the old road from Potsdam passed through the city wall of Berlin at the Potsdam Gate. Since German reunification, Potsdamer Platz has been the site of redevelopment projects. Potsdamer Platz began as a trading post where several roads converged just outside Berlins old customs wall. A key motivation behind the Edict was so the Elector could encourage the repopulation and economic recovery of his kingdom. Altogether up to 15,000 Huguenots made new homes in the Brandenburg region, some 6,000 of these in its capital, two other things resulted from this huge influx. Several new districts were founded around the perimeter, just outside the old fortifications. The largest of these was Friedrichstadt, just south west of the core of Berlin, begun in 1688 and named after new Elector Frederick William III. Its street layout followed the Baroque-style grid pattern much favoured at the time, all the new suburbs were absorbed into Berlin around 1709-10.
In 1721-3 a south-westwards expansion of Friedrichstadt was planned under the orders of King Frederick William I, in this expansion, a new north-south axis emerged, Wilhelmstraße. In 1735-7, after Friedrichstadt’s expansion was complete, a customs or excise wall,17 km long and 4.2 m high, was erected around Berlin’s new perimeter. Consisting of a palisade at first, it was replaced with a brick and stone wall, pierced by 14 gates. Here taxes were levied on goods passing through, chiefly meat, the most prestigious gate was the Brandenburg Gate, for the important road from Brandenburg, but 1 km to the south was the entry point of another road that gained even greater significance. Petersburg via Aachen, Berlin and Königsberg, in 1660 the Elector Frederick William made it his route of choice to Potsdam, the location of his palace, which had recently been renovated. Starting in 1754 a daily stagecoach ran between Berlin and Potsdam, although the road was in poor shape, but in 1740 Frederick II had become King.
After numerous other improvements, in 1791-3 this section was made into Prussias first all-weather road and it was around this gate that Potsdamer Platz was to develop. As a physical entity, Potsdamer Platz began as a few country roads, according to one old guide book, it was never a proper platz, but a five-cornered traffic knot on that old trading route across Europe. The Potsdam Gate itself was redesignated the Leipziger Tor around the same time, the history of Leipziger Platz has been inextricably linked with that of its neighbour almost since its creation. Yet their respective stories have in many ways very different
Museum Island is the name of the northern half of an island in the Spree river in the central Mitte district of Berlin, the site of the old city of Cölln. The Neues Museum finished in 1859 according to plans by Friedrich August Stüler, destroyed in World War II, it was rebuilt under the direction of David Chipperfield for the Egyptian Museum of Berlin and re-opened in 2009. It exhibits the sculpture collections and late Antique and Byzantine art, the Pergamon Museum, the final museum of the complex, constructed in 1930. It contains multiple reconstructed immense and historically significant buildings such as the Pergamon Altar, in 1999, the museum complex was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. A first exhibition hall was erected in 1797 at the suggestion of the archaeologist Aloys Hirt, in 1822, Schinkel designed the plans for the Altes Museum to house the royal Antikensammlung, the arrangement of the collection was overseen by Wilhelm von Humboldt. The island, originally an area, was dedicated to art.
Further extended under succeeding Prussian kings, the collections of art. They are today maintained by the Berlin State Museums branch of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Museum Island further comprises the Lustgarten park and the Berlin Cathedral. Between the Bode and Pergamon Museums it is crossed by the Stadtbahn railway viaduct, the adjacent territory to the south is the site of the former Stadtschloss and the Palace of the Republic. These include the Priams Treasure, called the gold of Troy, excavated by Heinrich Schliemann in 1873, smuggled out of Turkey to Berlin and today kept at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. Then, six months later, Peter-Klaus Schuster took over and set in motion a far more ambitious program intended to turn Museum Island into a Louvre on the Spree. The federal government pledged $20 million a year through 2010 for projects to enhance Berlins prestige and Unesco declaring the island a World Heritage Site. The contents of the museums were decided on as follows, The Pergamon, with the Greek altar that gives it its name, the Neues Museum presented archaeological objects as well as Egyptian and Etruscan sculptures, including the renowned bust of Queen Nefertiti.
The Altes Museum, the oldest on the island, displayed Greek and Roman art objects on its first floor, the Bode Museums paintings went from Late Byzantine to 1800. And, as now, the Alte Nationalgalerie will cover the 19th century, the James Simon Gallery, a $94 million visitors’ center designed by the British architect David Chipperfield, is being built beside the Neues Museum. It will in turn be linked to the Neues, Pergamon, once the Museum Island Master Plan is completed, the so-called Archaeological Promenade will connect four of the five museums in the Museum Island. The Promenade will begin at the Old Museum in the south, lead through the New Museum, before World War II, these museums were connected by bridge passages above ground, they were destroyed due to the effects of the war. There have never been plans to them, the central courts of individual museums will be lowered
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples and Sicily between 1592 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, in scarcely a year or so’s sojourn in Naples, he rapidly established himself once more as the most prominent painter, exploiting high-ranking connections. It was not long before these connections gave him an opening to travel on in 1607 to Malta, governed by the Order of Knights Hospitallers, Caravaggio probably hoped that the Knights would provide a channel whereby he could obtain a pardon from the Papacy. Once more his talents made an instant impression, along with the support of noble patrons and his hopes dashed, he contrived to escape and flee once, which before the end of 1608 led to his cancellation from the rolls of the Order. He made for Syracuse in Sicily, where he was received as a guest by a friend from his Roman days, the painter’s face was disfigured and rumours started to circulate of his death.
Various commentators have formulated opinions about his state from works supposedly executed at this period. In fact, Caravaggio’s end is shrouded in mystery, mystery that is rendered only denser by conflicting hypotheses, some speak of a natural death from a persistent fever, others of an assassination by emissaries of the Knights of Malta. The loss of the paintings put the deal and his future in doubt, there is evidence that dogged by a serious fever, he was tended by a local religious confraternity near Porto Ercole, in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, but succumbed. His death was certified by them as taking place on 18 July 1610, if the story to this point is exact, it is likely he was buried in a paupers’ common grave. As to the place, though this continues to be contested. Famous while he lived, Caravaggio was forgotten almost immediately after his death, despite this, his influence on the new Baroque style that eventually emerged from the ruins of Mannerism was profound. The 20th-century art historian André Berne-Joffroy claimed, What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite simply, modern painting.
Caravaggio was born in Milan where his father, was an administrator and architect-decorator to the Marchese of Caravaggio. His mother, Lucia Aratori, came from a family of the same district. In 1576 the family moved to Caravaggio to escape a plague which ravaged Milan, Caravaggios mother died in 1584, the same year he began his four-year apprenticeship to the Milanese painter Simone Peterzano, described in the contract of apprenticeship as a pupil of Titian. Following his initial training under Simone Peterzano, in 1592 Caravaggio left Milan for Rome, in flight after certain quarrels, in Rome, where there was a demand for paintings to fill the many huge new churches and palazzos being built at the time. It was a period when the Church was searching for an alternative to Mannerism in religious art that was tasked to counter the threat of Protestantism. Caravaggios innovation was a radical naturalism that combined close observation with a dramatic, even theatrical
The Lustgarten is a park on Museum Island in central Berlin, near the site of the former Berliner Stadtschloss of which it was originally a part. At various times in its history, the park has used as a parade ground, a place for mass rallies. After the devastation of Germany during the Thirty Years War, Berlin was redeveloped by Friedrich Wilhelm and his Dutch wife, in 1713, Friedrich Wilhelm I became King of Prussia and set about converting Prussia into a militarised state. In 1790, Friedrich Wilhelm II allowed the Lustgarten to be turned back into a park, in the early 19th century, the enlarged and increasingly wealthy Kingdom of Prussia undertook major redevelopments of central Berlin. A 13-metre high fountain in the centre, operated by an engine, was one of the marvels of the age. In 1871, the fountain was replaced by an equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III by Albert Wolff. The statue was unveiled on 16 June 1871, between 1894 and 1905, the old Protestant church on the northern side of the park was replaced by a much larger building, the Berlin Cathedral, designed by Julius Carl Raschdorff.
During the years of the Weimar Republic, the Lustgarten was frequently used for political demonstrations, the Socialists and Communists held frequent rallies there. In August 1921,500,000 people demonstrated against right-wing extremist violence, after the murder of Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau, on 25 June 1922,250,000 protested in the Lustgarten. On 7 February 1933,200,000 people demonstrated against the new Nazi Party regime of Adolf Hitler, under the Nazis, the Lustgarten was converted into a site for mass rallies. In 1934, it was paved over and the statue removed. Hitler addressed mass rallies of up to a million people there, on 18 May 1942 a resistance group lead by Herbert Baum consisting mainly of Jewish men and women, tried to destroy a propaganda exhibition The Soviet Paradise in the Lustgarten. This resulted in the discovery of the group, the death of Baum in Gestapo detention, in a retaliation action, the Reich Main Security Office arrested 500 Jewish men at the end of May, and immediately murdered half of them.
A memorial stone made by Jürgen Raue installed in 1981 commemorates the resistance group, in 1944 the statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III by Albert Wolff was melted down to reuse the metal in war production. By the end of World War II in 1945, the Lustgarten was a bomb-pitted wasteland, the German Democratic Republic left Hitlers paving in place, but planted lime trees around the parade ground to reduce its militaristic appearance. The whole area was renamed Marx-Engels-Platz, the City Palace was demolished and replaced by the modernist Palace of the Republic on part of the site. A movement to restore the Lustgarten to its role as a park began once Germany was reunified in 1990. In 1997, the Berlin Senate commissioned the landscape architect Hans Loidl to redesign the area in the spirit of Lennés design, the Lustgarten now features fountains and is once again a park in the heart of a reunited Berlin
The Renaissance was a period in European history, from the 14th to the 17th century, regarded as the cultural bridge between the Middle Ages and modern history. It started as a movement in Italy in the Late Medieval period and spread to the rest of Europe. This new thinking became manifest in art, politics, Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the 15th century. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, the Renaissance began in Florence, in the 14th century. Other major centres were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Milan, the word Renaissance, literally meaning Rebirth in French, first appeared in English in the 1830s. The word occurs in Jules Michelets 1855 work, Histoire de France, the word Renaissance has been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century.
The Renaissance was a movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, and searched for realism, however, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion that was reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were back from Byzantium to Western Europe. Political philosophers, most famously Niccolò Machiavelli, sought to describe life as it really was. Others see more competition between artists and polymaths such as Brunelleschi, Ghiberti and Masaccio for artistic commissions as sparking the creativity of the Renaissance. Yet it remains much debated why the Renaissance began in Italy, several theories have been put forward to explain its origins. During the Renaissance and art went hand in hand, Artists depended entirely on patrons while the patrons needed money to foster artistic talent. Wealth was brought to Italy in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries by expanding trade into Asia, silver mining in Tyrol increased the flow of money.
Luxuries from the Eastern world, brought home during the Crusades, increased the prosperity of Genoa, unlike with Latin texts, which had been preserved and studied in Western Europe since late antiquity, the study of ancient Greek texts was very limited in medieval Western Europe. One of the greatest achievements of Renaissance scholars was to bring this entire class of Greek cultural works back into Western Europe for the first time since late antiquity, Arab logicians had inherited Greek ideas after they had invaded and conquered Egypt and the Levant. Their translations and commentaries on these ideas worked their way through the Arab West into Spain and Sicily and this work of translation from Islamic culture, though largely unplanned and disorganized, constituted one of the greatest transmissions of ideas in history
Dresden is the capital city and, after Leipzig, the second-largest city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the border with the Czech Republic, Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendour. The city was known as the Jewel Box, because of its baroque, the controversial American and British bombing of Dresden in World War II towards the end of the war killed approximately 25,000, many of whom were civilians, and destroyed the entire city centre. After the war restoration work has helped to reconstruct parts of the inner city, including the Katholische Hofkirche, the Zwinger. Since German reunification in 1990 Dresden is again a cultural and political centre of Germany, the Dresden University of Technology is one of the 10 largest universities in Germany and part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative.
The economy of Dresden and its agglomeration is one of the most dynamic in Germany and it is dominated by high-tech branches, often called as “Silicon Saxony”. The city is one of the most visited in Germany with 4,3 million overnight stays per year. The royal buildings are among the most impressive buildings in Europe, main sights are the nearby National Park of Saxon Switzerland, the Ore Mountains and the countryside around Elbe Valley and Moritzburg Castle. The most prominent building in the city of Dresden is the Frauenkirche, built in the 18th century, the church was destroyed during World War II. The remaining ruins were left for 50 years as a war memorial, the church was rebuilt from 1994 to 2005. Although Dresden is a relatively recent city of Germanic origin followed by settlement of Slavic people, Dresdens founding and early growth is associated with the eastward expansion of Germanic peoples, mining in the nearby Ore Mountains, and the establishment of the Margraviate of Meissen. Its name etymologically derives from Old Sorbian Drežďany, meaning people of the forest, Dresden evolved into the capital of Saxony.
Around the late 12th century, a Slavic settlement called Drežďany had developed on the southern bank, another settlement existed on the northern bank, but its Slavic name is unknown. It was known as Antiqua Dresdin by 1350, and as Altendresden, Margrave of Meissen, chose Dresden as his interim residence in 1206, as documented in a record calling the place Civitas Dresdene. After 1270, Dresden became the capital of the margraviate and it was given to Friedrich Clem after death of Henry the Illustrious in 1288. It was taken by the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1316 and was restored to the Wettin dynasty after the death of Valdemar the Great in 1319, from 1485, it was the seat of the dukes of Saxony, and from 1547 the electors as well. The Elector and ruler of Saxony Frederick Augustus I became King Augustus II the Strong of Poland in personal union and he gathered many of the best musicians and painters from all over Europe to the newly named Royal-Polish Residential City of Dresden. His reign marked the beginning of Dresdens emergence as a leading European city for technology, during the reign of Kings Augustus II the Strong and Augustus III of Poland the Zwinger Royal Palace, the Hofkirche and the Frauenkirche were built
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio, known in English as Titian /ˈtɪʃən/, was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno, during his lifetime he was often called da Cadore, taken from the place of his birth. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of color, would exercise a profound influence not only on painters of the Italian Renaissance, during the course of his long life, Titians artistic manner changed drastically, but he retained a lifelong interest in color. Although his mature works may not contain the vivid, luminous tints of his pieces, their loose brushwork. The exact date of Titians birth is uncertain, when he was an old man he claimed in a letter to Philip II, King of Spain, to have been born in 1474, but this seems most unlikely. Other writers contemporary to his old age give figures that would equate to birthdates between 1473 and after 1482 and he was the son of Gregorio Vecelli and his wife Lucia.
His father was superintendent of the castle of Pieve di Cadore, Gregorio was a distinguished councilor and soldier. Many relatives, including Titians grandfather, were notaries, and the family of four were well-established in the area, at the age of about ten to twelve he and his brother Francesco were sent to an uncle in Venice to find an apprenticeship with a painter. At that time the Bellinis, especially Giovanni, were the artists in the city. There Titian found a group of men about his own age, among them Giovanni Palma da Serinalta, Lorenzo Lotto, Sebastiano Luciani. Francesco Vecellio, his brother, became a painter of some note in Venice. A fresco of Hercules on the Morosini Palace is said to have one of Titians earliest works. Others were the Bellini-esque so-called Gypsy Madonna in Vienna, and the Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth, now in the Accademia, a Man with a Quilted Sleeve is an early portrait, painted around 1509 and described by Giorgio Vasari in 1568. Scholars long believed it depicted Ludovico Ariosto, but now think it is of Gerolamo Barbarigo, Rembrandt borrowed the composition for his self-portraits.
Titian joined Giorgione as an assistant, but many contemporary critics found his work more impressive—for example in exterior frescoes that they did for the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Their relationship evidently contained a significant element of rivalry, distinguishing between their work at this period remains a subject of scholarly controversy. A substantial number of attributions have moved from Giorgione to Titian in the 20th century, one of the earliest known Titian works, Christ Carrying the Cross in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, depicting the Ecce Homo scene, was long regarded as by Giorgione. In 1507–1508 Giorgione was commissioned by the state to create frescoes on the re-erected Fondaco dei Tedeschi and Morto da Feltre worked along with him, and some fragments of paintings remain, probably by Giorgione