Anglicized form of the name of Tiziano Vecellio (c.1487-1576) became in 1533 court painter to Charles V, Holy Roman emperor, whose son Philip II of Spain later became his patron.
Titian's work is richly coloured, with inventive composition. He produced a vast number of portraits, religious paintings, and mythological scenes, including Bacchus and Ariadne 1520-1523, Venus and Adonis in 1554, and the Entombment of Christ in 1559.
Titian probably studied with Giovanni Belini but also learned much from Giorgione and seems to have completed some of Giorgione's unfinished works, such as Noli Me Tangere (National Gallery, London).
His first great painting is the Assumption of the Virgin in 1518 (Church of the Frari, Venice), typically subUme in mood, with upw
ard-thrusting layers of figures. Three large mythologies painted in the next few years for the d'Estes of Ferrara show yet more brilliant use of colour, and numerous statuesque figures suggest the influence of classical art. By the 1530s Titian's reputation was widespread.
In the 1540s Titian visited Rome to paint the pope; in Augsburg, Germany, 1548-1549 and 1550-1551 he painted members of the imperial court. In his later years he produced a series of mythologies for Philip II, notably The Rape of Europa in 1562 (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts). His handling became increasingly free and his palette sombre, but his work remained full of drama. He made an impact not just on Venetian painting but on art throughout Europe.
Why is Titian famous?
Titian was an Italian painter, active in Venice, one of the greatest artists of the High Renaissance.