Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio, known in English as Titian, was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno in the Republic of Venice). During his lifetime he was called da Cadore, taken from the place of his birth. Recognized by his contemporaries as "The Sun Amidst Small Stars", Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, mythological and religious subjects, his painting methods in the application and use of colour, would exercise a profound influence not only on painters of the late Italian Renaissance, but on future generations of Western art. His career was successful from the start, he became sought after by patrons from Venice and its possessions joined by the north Italian princes, the Habsburgs and papacy. Along with Giorgione, he is considered a founder of the Venetian School of Italian Renaissance painting. During the course of his long life, Titian's artistic manner changed drastically, but he retained a lifelong interest in colour.
Although his mature works may not contain the vivid, luminous tints of his early pieces, their loose brushwork and subtlety of tone were without precedent in the history of Western painting. The exact date of Titian's 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. Most modern scholars believe a date between 1488 and 1490 is more though his age at death being 99 had been accepted into the 20th century, he was the son of whom little is known. Gregorio was superintendent of the castle of Pieve di Cadore and managed local mines for their owners. Gregorio was a distinguished councilor and soldier. Many relatives, including Titian's grandfather, were notaries, the family were well-established in the area, ruled by Venice. 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.
The minor painter Sebastian Zuccato, whose sons became well-known mosaicists, who may have been a family friend, arranged for the brothers to enter the studio of the elderly Gentile Bellini, from which they transferred to that of his brother Giovanni Bellini. At that time the Bellinis Giovanni, were the leading artists in the city. There Titian found a group of young men about his own age, among them Giovanni Palma da Serinalta, Lorenzo Lotto, Sebastiano Luciani, Giorgio da Castelfranco, nicknamed Giorgione. Francesco Vecellio, Titian's older brother became a painter of some note in Venice. A fresco of Hercules on the Morosini Palace is said to have been one of Titian's earliest works. Others were the Bellini-esque so-called Gypsy Madonna in Vienna, the Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth, now in the Accademia, Venice. 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. 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, with little traffic the other way. 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; the two young masters were recognized as the leaders of their new school of arte moderna, characterized by paintings made more flexible, freed from symmetry and the remnants of hieratic conventions still found in the works of Giovanni Bellini. In 1507–1508 Giorgione was commissioned by the state to create frescoes on the re-erected Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Titian and Morto da Feltre worked along with him, some fragments of paintings remain by Giorgione.
Some of their work is known, through the engravings of Fontana. After Giorgione's early death in 1510, Titian continued to paint Giorgionesque subjects for some time, though his style developed its own features, including bold and expressive brushwork. Titian's talent in fresco is shown in those he painted in 1511 at Padua in the Carmelite church and in the Scuola del Santo, some of which have been preserved, among them the Meeting at the Golden Gate, three scenes from the life of St. Anthony of Padua, The Miracle of the Jealous Husband, which depicts the Murder of a Young Woman by Her Husband, A Child Testifying to Its Mother's Innocence, The Saint Healing the Young Man with a Broken Limb. In 1512 Titian returned to Venice from Padua, he became superintendent of the government works charged with completing the paintings left unfinished by Giovanni Bellini in the hall of the great council in the ducal palace. He set up a
The Entombment of Christ (Caravaggio)
Caravaggio created one of his most admired altarpieces, The Entombment of Christ, in 1603–1604 for the second chapel on the right in Santa Maria in Vallicella, a church built for the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. A copy of the painting is now in the chapel, the original is in the Vatican Pinacoteca; the painting has been copied by artists as diverse as Fragonard, Géricault and Cézanne. On 11 July 1575, Pope Gregory XIII issued a bull confirming the formation of a new society called the Oratory and granting it the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella. Two months after the bull, the rebuilding of the church commenced. Envisaged in the planned reconstruction of the Chiesa Nuova, as it became known, was the dedication of all the altars to the mysteries of the Virgin. Starting in the left transept and continuing around the five chapels on either side of the nave to the right transept, the altars are dedicated to the Presentation of the Temple, the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Adoration of the Shepherds, the Circumcision, the Crucifixion, the Pietà, the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Ghost, the Assumption and the Coronation.
The Entombment was planned and begun in 1602/3. The chapel in which the Entombment was to be hung, was dedicated to the Pietà, was founded by Pietro Vittrice, a friend of Pope Gregory XIII and close follower of Filippo Neri; the Capella della Pietà occupied a'privileged' position in the Chiesa Nuova: Mass could be celebrated from it and it was granted special indulgences. The chapel, placed in the right nave of the Chiesa Nuova, was conceded to Vittrice in June 1577, the foundation of the chapel ratified in September 1580; some time after his death in March 1600, a legacy of 1,000 scudi became available for the maintenance of the chapel, it was built in 1602, held to be the earliest date for the commission of Caravaggio's painting. Indeed, on 1 September 1604, it is described as'new' in a document recording that it had been paid for by Girolamo Vittrice, Pietro's nephew and heir. Girolamo Vittrice had a direct connection with Caravaggio: in August 1586 he married Orinzia di Lucio Orsi, the sister of Caravaggio's friend Prospero Orsi and the niece of the humanist Aurelio Orsi.
Aurelio, in turn, was a one-time mentor to the young Maffeo Barberini, who became Pope Urban VIII in 1623. It is through these connections that Girolamo's son, became bishop of Alatri in 1632, was able to bestow the gift of Caravaggio's Fortune Teller on Pope Innocent X Pamphilij after being appointed governor of Rome in 1647; the painting was universally admired and written about by such critics as Giulio Mancini, Giovanni Baglione, Gian Pietro Bellori and Francesco Scanelli. The painting was taken to Paris in 1797 for the Musée Napoléon, returned to Rome and installed in the Vatican in 1816; this counter-reformation painting – with a diagonal cascade of mourners and cadaver-bearers descending to the limp, dead Christ and the bare stone – is not a moment of transfiguration, but of mourning. As the viewer's eye descends from the gloom there is, too, a descent from the hysteria of Mary of Clopas through subdued emotion to death as the final emotional silencing. Unlike the gored post-crucifixion Jesus in morbid Spanish displays, Italian Christs die bloodlessly, slump in a geometrically challenging display.
As if emphasizing the dead Christ's inability to feel pain, a hand enters the wound at his side. His body is one of a muscled, thick-limbed laborer rather than the usual, bony-thin depiction. Two men carry the body. John the Evangelist, identified only by his youthful appearance and red cloak supports the dead Christ on his right knee and with his right arm, inadvertently opening the wound. Nicodemus grasps the knees in his arms, with his feet planted at the edge of the slab. Caravaggio balances the stable, dignified position of the body and the unstable exertions of the bearers. While faces are important in painting in Caravaggio it is important always to note where the arms are pointing. Skyward in The Conversion of Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus, towards Levi in The Calling of Saint Matthew. Here, the dead God's fallen arm and immaculate shroud touch stone. In some ways, the message of Christ: God come to earth, mankind reconciled with the heavens; as usual with his works of highest devotion, Caravaggio never fails to ground himself.
In the center is Mary Magdalene, drying her tears with a white handkerchief, face shadowed. Tradition held that the Virgin Mary be depicted as eternally young, but here Caravaggio paints the Virgin as an old woman; the figure of the Virgin Mary is partially obscured behind John. Her right hand hovers above his head. Seen together, the three women constitute complementary expressions of suffering; the left figure imitates the costume from Caravaggio's Penitent Magdalene. Andrew Graham-Dixon asserts that these figures were modelled by Fillide Melandroni, a frequent model in his works and about 22 years old at the time. Caravaggio's composition seems to be related to Michelangelo's Pietà as St. Peters, his Florentine Pietà, from which he takes the figure of Nicodemus. In the latter case, Caravaggio transports Michelangelo self-portrait to his own painting. Althou
Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments with a medium of drying oil as the binder. Used drying oils include linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut oil, safflower oil; the choice of oil imparts a range of properties to the oil paint, such as the amount of yellowing or drying time. Certain differences, depending on the oil, are visible in the sheen of the paints. An artist might use several different oils in the same painting depending on specific pigments and effects desired; the paints themselves develop a particular consistency depending on the medium. The oil may be boiled with a resin, such as pine resin or frankincense, to create a varnish prized for its body and gloss. Although oil paint was first used for Buddhist paintings by painters in western Afghanistan sometime between the fifth and tenth centuries, it did not gain popularity until the 15th century, its practice may have migrated westward during the Middle Ages. Oil paint became the principal medium used for creating artworks as its advantages became known.
The transition began with Early Netherlandish painting in Northern Europe, by the height of the Renaissance oil painting techniques had completely replaced the use of tempera paints in the majority of Europe. In recent years, water miscible. Water-soluble paints are either engineered or an emulsifier has been added that allows them to be thinned with water rather than paint thinner, allows, when sufficiently diluted fast drying times when compared with traditional oils. Traditional oil painting techniques begin with the artist sketching the subject onto the canvas with charcoal or thinned paint. Oil paint is mixed with linseed oil, artist grade mineral spirits, or other solvents to make the paint thinner, faster or slower-drying. A basic rule of oil paint application is'fat over lean', meaning that each additional layer of paint should contain more oil than the layer below to allow proper drying. If each additional layer contains less oil, the final painting will peel; this rule does not ensure permanence.
There are many other media that can be used with the oil, including cold wax and varnishes. These additional media can aid the painter in adjusting the translucency of the paint, the sheen of the paint, the density or'body' of the paint, the ability of the paint to hold or conceal the brushstroke; these aspects of the paint are related to the expressive capacity of oil paint. Traditionally, paint was transferred to the painting surface using paintbrushes, but there are other methods, including using palette knives and rags. Oil paint remains wet longer than many other types of artists' materials, enabling the artist to change the color, texture or form of the figure. At times, the painter might remove an entire layer of paint and begin anew; this can be done with a rag and some turpentine for a time while the paint is wet, but after a while the hardened layer must be scraped. Oil paint dries by oxidation, not evaporation, is dry to the touch within a span of two weeks, it is dry enough to be varnished in six months to a year.
Although the history of tempera and related media in Europe indicates that oil painting was discovered there independently, there is evidence that oil painting was used earlier in Afghanistan. Outdoor surfaces and surfaces like shields—both those used in tournaments and those hung as decorations—were more durable when painted in oil-based media than when painted in the traditional tempera paints. Most Renaissance sources, in particular Vasari, credited northern European painters of the 15th century, Jan van Eyck in particular, with the "invention" of painting with oil media on wood panel supports. However, Theophilus gives instructions for oil-based painting in his treatise, On Various Arts, written in 1125. At this period, it was used for painting sculptures and wood fittings especially for outdoor use. However, early Netherlandish painting with artists like Van Eyck and Robert Campin in the 15th century were the first to make oil the usual painting medium, explore the use of layers and glazes, followed by the rest of Northern Europe, only Italy.
Early works were still panel paintings on wood, but around the end of the 15th century canvas became more popular as the support, as it was cheaper, easier to transport, allowed larger works, did not require complicated preliminary layers of gesso. Venice, where sail-canvas was available, was a leader in the move to canvas. Small cabinet paintings were made on metal copper plates; these supports were more expensive but firm, allowing intricately fine detail. Printing plates from printmaking were reused for this purpose; the popularity of oil spread through Italy from the North, starting in Venice in the late 15th century. By 1540, the previous method for painting on panel had become all but extinct, although Italians continued to use chalk-based fresco for wall paintings, less successful and durable in damper northern climates; the linseed oil itself comes from a common fiber crop. Linen, a "support" for oil painting comes from the flax plant. Safflower oil or the walnut or poppyseed oil are sometimes used in formulating lighter colors li
Boy with a Basket of Fruit
Boy with a Basket of Fruit, c.1593, is a painting ascribed to Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio in the Galleria Borghese, Rome. The painting dates from the time when Caravaggio, newly arrived in Rome from his native Milan, was making his way in the competitive Roman art world; the model was the Sicilian painter Mario Minniti, at about 16 years old. The work was in the collection of Giuseppe Cesari, the Cavaliere d'Arpino, seized by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1607, may therefore date to the period when Caravaggio worked for d'Arpino "painting flowers and fruits" in his workshop, it cannot predate 1593, the year Minniti arrived in Rome. It is believed to predate more complex works from the same period such as The Fortune Teller and the Cardsharps, the latter of which brought Caravaggio to the attention of his first important patron, Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte. Vittorio Sgarbi notes certain Murillesque portraiture qualities in the painting that could point to other painters in the Arpino workshop.
At one level the painting is a genre piece designed to demonstrate the artist's ability to depict everything from the skin of the boy to the skin of a peach, from the folds of the robe to the weave of the basket. The fruit is exquisite, Professor Jules Janick of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Purdue University, has analysed them from a horticulturalist's perspective: The basket... contains a great many fruits, all in nearly perfect condition and including a bi-colored peach with a bright red blush. There are leaves showing various disorders: a prominent virescent grape leaf with fungal spots and another with a white insect egg mass resembling that of the oblique banded leaf roller, peach leaves with various spots; the analysis indicates that Caravaggio is being realistic, in capturing only what was in the fruit basket. Caravaggio's fruit The British-Canadian band Velcro Hooks open up their video "A Love Song to T. S. Eliot" with a remarkable "live" reproduction of Boy with a Basket of Fruit
The Fortune Teller (Caravaggio)
The Fortune Teller is a painting by Italian Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It exists in two versions, both by Caravaggio, the first from 1594, the second from 1595; the dates in both cases are disputed. The painting shows a foppishly-dressed boy; the boy looks pleased as he gazes into her face, she returns his gaze. Close inspection of the painting reveals what the young man has failed to notice: the girl is removing his ring as she strokes his hand. Caravaggio's biographer Giovanni Pietro Bellori relates that the artist picked the gypsy girl out from passers-by on the street in order to demonstrate that he had no need to copy the works of the masters from antiquity: "When he was shown the most famous statues of Phidias and Glykon in order that he might use them as models, his only answer was to point towards a crowd of people saying that nature had given him an abundance of masters."This passage is used to demonstrate that the classically trained Mannerist artists of Caravaggio's day disapproved of Caravaggio's insistence on painting from life instead of from copies and drawings made from older masterpieces.
However, Bellori ends by saying, "and in these two half-figures translated reality so purely that it came to confirm what he said." The story is apocryphal - Bellori was writing more than half a century after Caravaggio's death, it doesn't appear in Mancini's or in Giovanni Baglione, the two contemporary biographers who had known him - but it does indicate the essence of Caravaggio's revolutionary impact on his contemporaries - beginning with The Fortune Teller -, to replace the Renaissance theory of art as a didactic fiction with art as the representation of real life. The 1594 Fortune Teller aroused considerable interest among younger artists and the more avant garde collectors of Rome, according to Mancini, Caravaggio's poverty forced him to sell it for the low sum of eight scudi, it entered the collection of a wealthy banker and connoisseur, the Marchese Vincente Giustiniani, who became an important patron of the artist. Giustiniani's friend, Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte, purchased the companion piece, Cardsharps, in 1595, at some point in that year Caravaggio entered the Cardinal's household.
For Del Monte, Caravaggio painted a second version of The Fortune Teller, copied from the Giustiniani but with certain changes. The undifferentiated background of the 1594 version becomes a real wall broken by the shadows of a half-drawn curtain and a window sash, the figures more fill the space and defining it in three dimensions; the light is more radiant, the cloth of the boy's doublet and the girl's sleeves more finely textured. The dupe becomes more childlike and more innocently vulnerable, the girl less wary-looking, leaning in towards him, more in command of the situation; the Fortune Teller is one of two known genre pieces painted by Caravaggio in the year 1594, the other being Cardsharps. The Fortune Teller is believed to be the earlier of the two, dates from the period during which the artist had left the workshop of the Giuseppe Cesari to make his own way selling paintings through the dealer Costantino; the subject of the painting was not unprecedented. In his Lives of the Artists, Giorgio Vasari notes that one of Franciabigio's followers, his brother Agnolo, painted a sign for a perfumer's shop "containing a gipsy woman telling the fortune of a lady in a graceful manner".
A Caravaggio Rediscovered, The Lute Player, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which contains material on this painting
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples and Sicily from the early 1590s to 1610. His paintings combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, which had a formative influence on Baroque painting. Caravaggio employed close physical observation with a dramatic use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism, he made the technique a dominant stylistic element, darkening shadows and transfixing subjects in bright shafts of light. Caravaggio vividly expressed crucial moments and scenes featuring violent struggles and death, he worked with live models, preferring to forgo drawings and work directly onto the canvas. His influence on the new Baroque style that emerged from Mannerism was profound, it can be seen directly or indirectly in the work of Peter Paul Rubens, Jusepe de Ribera, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Rembrandt, artists in the following generation under his influence were called the "Caravaggisti" or "Caravagesques", as well as tenebrists or tenebrosi.
Caravaggio trained as a painter in Milan before moving in his twenties to Rome. He developed a considerable name as an artist, as a violent and provocative man. A brawl forced him to flee to Naples. There he again established himself as one of the most prominent Italian painters of his generation, he traveled in 1607 to Malta and on to Sicily, pursued a papal pardon for his sentence. In 1609 he returned to Naples. Questions about his mental state arose from his bizarre behavior, he died in 1610 under uncertain circumstances while on his way from Naples to Rome. Reports stated that he died of a fever, but suggestions have been made that he was murdered or that he died of lead poisoning. Caravaggio's innovations inspired Baroque painting, but the Baroque incorporated the drama of his chiaroscuro without the psychological realism; the style evolved and fashions changed, Caravaggio fell out of favor. In the 20th century interest in his work revived, his importance to the development of Western art was reevaluated.
The 20th-century art historian André Berne-Joffroy stated, "What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite modern painting." Caravaggio was born in Milan, where his father, was a household administrator and architect-decorator to the Marchese of Caravaggio, a town not far from the city of Bergamo. In 1576 the family moved to Caravaggio to escape a plague that ravaged Milan, Caravaggio's father and grandfather both died there on the same day in 1577, it is assumed that the artist grew up in Caravaggio, but his family kept up connections with the Sforzas and with the powerful Colonna family, who were allied by marriage with the Sforzas and destined to play a major role in Caravaggio's life. Caravaggio's 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. Caravaggio appears to have stayed in the Milan-Caravaggio area after his apprenticeship ended, but it is possible that he visited Venice and saw the works of Giorgione, whom Federico Zuccari accused him of imitating, Titian.
He would have become familiar with the art treasures of Milan, including Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, with the regional Lombard art, a style that valued simplicity and attention to naturalistic detail and was closer to the naturalism of Germany than to the stylised formality and grandeur of Roman Mannerism. Following his initial training under Simone Peterzano, in 1592 Caravaggio left Milan for Rome, in flight after "certain quarrels" and the wounding of a police officer; the young artist arrived in Rome "naked and needy... without fixed address and without provision... short of money." During this period he stayed with the miserly Pandolfo Pucci, known as "monnsignor Insalata". A few months he was performing hack-work for the successful Giuseppe Cesari, Pope Clement VIII's favourite artist, "painting flowers and fruit" in his factory-like workshop. In Rome there was 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 a stylistic alternative to Mannerism in religious art, tasked to counter the threat of Protestantism.
Caravaggio's innovation was a radical naturalism that combined close physical observation with a dramatic theatrical, use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism. Known works from this period include a small Boy Peeling a Fruit, a Boy with a Basket of Fruit, the Young Sick Bacchus a self-portrait done during convalescence from a serious illness that ended his employment with Cesari. All three demonstrate the physical particularity for which Caravaggio was to become renowned: the fruit-basket-boy's produce has been analysed by a professor of horticulture, able to identify individual cultivars right down to "... a large fig leaf with a prominent fungal scorch lesion resembling anthracnose."Caravaggio left Cesari, determined to make his own way after a heated argument. At this point he forged some important friendships, with the painter Prospero Orsi, the architect Onorio Longhi, the sixteen-year-old Sicilian artist Mario Minniti. Orsi
Boy Bitten by a Lizard
Boy Bitten by a Lizard is a painting by the Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio. It exists in two versions, both believed to be authentic works of Caravaggio, one in the Fondazione Roberto Longhi in Florence, the other in the National Gallery, London. Both versions are thought to date from the period 1594–1596. According to art historian Roberto Longhi, the latter end of this period seems more given that the paintings have all the signs of the early works painted in the household of Caravaggio's sophisticated patron Cardinal Francesco Del Monte, that Caravaggio didn't enter the Cardinal's Palazzo Madama until some time in 1595; as with all of Caravaggio's early output, much remains conjectural, the identity of the model has been debated. One theory is that the model was Mario Minniti, Caravaggio's companion and the model for several other paintings from the period. Michael Fried has proposed instead. Fried argues that the subject's hands – one stretched out, the other raised up – are in a similar position to those of a painter holding a palette while painting.
According to Leonard J. Slatkes, the painting's symbolism derives from the Apollo Sauroktonos theme in which a poisonous salamander triumphs over the god, while the arrangement of various fruits suggests The Four Temperaments, with the salamander being the symbol of fire in Caravaggio's time; the salamander had phallic connotations, the painting might have been inspired by a Martial epigram: "Ad te reptani, puer insidiose, lacertae Parce: cupit digitis illa perire tuis. The affected pose may have been the inevitable result of the experiment Caravaggio appears to have been undertaking here: observing and recording acute emotions – surprise and fear – in a situation where real surprise was impossible and where the pose had to be held for a considerable period. Critics of Caravaggio's insistence on painting only from life would point out this limitation of his method: it lent itself to marvelously realistic static compositions, but not to scenes involving movement and violence, it would only be in his late period, when he seems to have worked more from imagination, that Caravaggio would be able to overcome this problem.
Boy Bitten by a Lizard is an important work in the artist's early oeuvre because it shows a way out from the airless stillness of early works such as Boy Peeling a Fruit and Sick Bacchus, the implied violence but actual stasis of pieces such as Cardsharps. As was first suggested by Roberto Longhi, Caravaggio has borrowed the motif of biting a finger from a Boy Bitten by a Crab, a drawing by a prominent Renaissance artist Sofonisba Anguissola