Titian Fact File: Lifespan: c1488 – 1576 *** Full Name: Tiziano Vecelli was also known as Titian *** Date of Birth (Birthday): Place of Birth: Titian was born in Venice *** Family background: His father was Gregorio Vecelli *** Early life and childhood: Titian grew up and spent the majority of his life in Venice *** Titian died on August 27th 1576
Titian Fact 1: Titian was born c1488 but due to the lack of accurate records at this time his date of birth is unknown. Titian was to become the greatest Italian Renaissance painter of the Venetian school.
Titian Fact 2: Place of Birth – Titian was born in Pieve di Cadore in the Republic of Venice. In his later life he was often called 'da Cadore', taken from the place of his birth.
Titian Fact 3: Family – His father was Gregorio Vecelli and his mother was called Lucia.
Titian Fact 4: Background and Early Life – His father managed the local mines, had been a soldier and was a councilor. For several generations the men had also been notaries. At around ten years of age, Titian was sent to Venice with his brother to live with an uncle and find apprenticeships as painters. They both began their apprenticeships with Gentile Bellini and later with Giovanni Bellini.
Titian Fact 5: Titian married a girl called Cecilia and together they had two sons and a daughter. His first son was named Pomponio, who became a priest, and his second son Orazio, later became an artist and served as Titian’s chief assistant. He named his daughter Lavinia, another daughter died in infancy
Titian Fact 6: His wife Cecilia died and he remarried and had a further daughter. His second wife also died. He had a fourth child, another daughter out of wedlock.
Titian Fact 7: Titian’s first independent commission was for the frescoes of three miracles of St. Anthony of Padua.
Titian Fact 8: Work – Another of his early artwork was a fresco of Hercules on the Morosini Palace. He would come into his own at the deaths of Giorgione and Giovanni Bellini and by 1516 this left Titian unequaled in the Venetian School.
Titian Fact 9: Although he painted religious scenes he also achieved recognition for his paintings depicting the ancient world and its myths and legends of antiquity. These beautiful works of art included the nude Venus (Venus and Adonis) and the Danae (Danae with Nursemaid).
Titian Fact 10: Titian’s reputation for producing scenes from antiquity spread across Europe abroad, and Alfonso I d’Este commissioned him to work on a cycle of mythological scenes and compositions for his newly rebuilt rooms called the Alabaster Chambers in the castle at Ferrara. It was here that Titian painted his spectacular depiction of Bacchus and Ariadne
Titian Fact 11: Among the religious works of art painted by Titian during the period between 1516 and 1538 is one of his greatest masterpieces, the Assumption (1516–18). This large and beautiful composition occupies the high altar of St. Maria dei Frari in Venice.
Titian Fact 12: Titian went on to develop a new style of composition in the Pesaro Madonna (1518–26), (better known as the Madonna di Ca' Pesaro) in which the Madonna and the Saints are depicted with the male members of the Pesaro family. The artwork was commissioned by Jacopo Pesaro in 1518 for the chapel in the Frari Basilica in Venice. Titian's patron, Jacopo Pesaro, is depicted in a devotional pose, kneeling before the Madonna and being presented to her by Saint Peter.
Titian Fact 13: The new style of composition established a formula that was widely followed by later Venetian Renaissance painters and inspired some Baroque masters, including Rubens and Van Dyck.
Titian Fact 14: Charles V, the Holy Roman emperor was another great patron of the brilliant artist and Titian painted many pictures of the new and powerful ruler.
Titian Fact 15: Charles V, the Holy Roman emperor, was so pleased
with Titian’s work that he bestowed upon the artist the most extraordinary honor of a knighthood in May 1533. In keeping with his social status Titian moved to he moved to a Venetian palace known as the Casa Grande and divided his time between here and Bologna.
Titian Fact 16: The fame of Titian spread and Pope Paul III and his grandson, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, began to compete with the Holy Roman emperor for Titian’s services. The artist travelled to the Vatican in Rome and produced another great work of art in the officila portrait of 'Pope Paul III Without Cap' and in 1546 painted Paul III and His Grandsons Ottavio and Cardinal Alessandro Farnese.
Titian Fact 17: Titian then returned to Bologna to undertake more work for the the Holy Roman emperor and produced some of his most famous portraits.
Titian Fact 18: Titian returned to Venice where he remained for the next 25 years until the end of his life. During this late period he produced the Triple Portrait called the 'Allegory of Prudence' in which he depicted himself as a gray-bearded man to represent old age, his son Orazio, represents maturity, and his nephew, the artist Marco Vecelli represents youth.
Titian Fact 19: The most famous and greatest works of Titian were Assumption of the Virgin, Bacchus and Ariadne and the Madonna di Ca’Pesaro.
Titian Fact 20: Death – He died of a fever on August 27th 1576 and was interred in the church of St. Maria dei Frari in Venice
List of Famous Works by Titian include: Allegory of Prudence *** Annunciation *** Assumption of the Virgin *** Bacchus and Ariadne *** Danae with Eros *** Diana and Actaeon
Short Facts about Titian for Kids
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