Titian: His Life

( 2 )

Overview

Born in the mountains above Venice in the late fifteenth century, Tiziano Vecellio—or Titian—was the greatest painter of the Venetian High Renaissance. A poetic visionary and a technical master of oils, he painted everything, from frescoes and grand altarpieces to mythological stories and portraits—works described by his contemporaries as "mirrors of nature."

Sheila Hale's rich biography is the first since 1877 to examine all contemporary accounts of Titian's life and work as ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$26.24
BN.com price
(Save 34%)$39.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (33) from $14.85   
  • New (15) from $19.74   
  • Used (18) from $14.85   
Titian

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$16.99
BN.com price

Overview

Born in the mountains above Venice in the late fifteenth century, Tiziano Vecellio—or Titian—was the greatest painter of the Venetian High Renaissance. A poetic visionary and a technical master of oils, he painted everything, from frescoes and grand altarpieces to mythological stories and portraits—works described by his contemporaries as "mirrors of nature."

Sheila Hale's rich biography is the first since 1877 to examine all contemporary accounts of Titian's life and work as well as recent art historical scholarship, some of it previously unpublished. Her book charts the extraordinary transformation of Titian's style: from the radiant, minutely realized masterpieces of his youth, to the more freely painted work of his middle years, to the dark, tragic, sometimes terrifying visions of his old age. Drawing on the latest scientific examinations of his paintings, Hale seeks to explain the evolution of his methods and his art. In doing so, she also gives many different voices—from Titian's lifetime to today—free reign to explore, praise, and sometimes doubt his genius.

When Titian died in 1576, in his late eighties, he had spent the whole of his working life in Venice—the most celebrated city in Europe—traveling as little as possible despite the clamor for his presence at the great courts of the continent. He had witnessed wars, Ottoman invasions, and the rising Protestant threat to the Catholic Church. He had become the favored painter of both Charles V—the most powerful man in the world—and his son, Philip II of Spain, who became Titian's most important patron.

Sheila Hale's masterly biography presents Titian through the lens of the turbulent times in which he lived and explores how this innovative sixteenth-century master conveyed in his paintings a kind of truth that few other artists have been able to communicate, which has fascinated Titian's admirers and followers ever since.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
…[a] magnificent account of the incomparable Venetian artist Titian and the world he lived in…Given the lack of letters and personal documents, Hale could have produced a very slender biography. But, happily for readers, she instead enriches her book with numerous vignettes, facts, pen portraits and anecdotes…Best of all, Hale writes an elegant, even worldly prose…[Titian: His Life] is thus delicious as well as authoritative…For me, it's the biography of the year.
—Michael Dirda
Publishers Weekly
Drawing upon her experience as research assistant to the celebrated Renaissance historian John Hale (her late husband), Hale frames her first foray into historical scholarship by tracing one artist’s life to inform an epic biography of the Most Serene Republic of Venice. Compelling and well-researched, the book follows the career of Titian, an “explorer in paint,” whose popularity reaches from the 16th century until today. Vivid descriptions of Renaissance Venice read like a firsthand account of food halls where “caged birds... sang among the fruit and vegetables” and citywide pageants that, “like prostitutes, outclassed and outnumbered” those in other cities. Hale presents Titian as a rural-born homebody who witnessed the intrigue of foreign courts and encountered greats such as Michelangelo, architect Jacopo Sansovino, and baroque painter Tintoretto. If anything gets short shrift, it’s the paintings themselves. One is left wondering, for example, why the Annunciation painting in Treviso “doesn’t really work.” Hale’s research benefits from recent cleanings and restorations of Titian’s work, but she imparts her own expertise, for instance, in surmising that Titian’s son, Orazio, may have been the painter of the portrait of Pietro Bembo in Rome. Fully aware of our need to believe in artistic genius, Hale (The Man Who Lost His Language) successfully utilizes Titian’s career as a touchstone for events that carried Venice away from the Middle Ages and into the early modern period. Two 16-page color inserts. Agent: Anne Engel. (Nov.)
Sunday Times (London)
Impressive…entertaining…a feat of research…crammed with new or expanded or rethought information about this stubbornly mysterious giant
Financial Times
“An engrossing new biography…a portrait of Titian in his time…which should endure as the standard Life for the next century”
The Guardian
“An exceptional biography of Titian…a superb portrait of the artist-an example of measured scholarship, judicious opinion, and telling framing detail”
Daily Telegraph (London)
“Hale provides subtle insights into Titian’s enigmatic last paintings…A scrupulous and exhaustive account that is informed by the latest scholarship, but admirably free of academic cant.”
The Economist
“Titian stands out among his peers as Shakespeare does among writers, and Sheila Hale’s authoritative and readable book is more than worthy of her subject.”
Wall Street Journal
“Hale’s approach is to try to understand the times in which he lived, and she succeeds brilliantly in capturing the pulse of 16th-century Venice, where the artist spent his working life. . . . Highly readable.”
Independent
“It all makes for compelling reading…enriched by vivid anecdotes and gossipy snippets.”
New York Times Book Review
“Sheila Hale’s TITIAN takes on the heroic task of reconstructing this largely undocumented life. . . . Meticulous and fluid. . . . Hale’s biography captures the energy and colors of everyday Venetian life as brilliantly as a Canaletto painting.”
New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
“In reconstructing the largely undocumented life of the Venetian master painter, Hale also offers a dazzling look at the splendors of his city.”
California Literary Review
“Hale’s new biography of Titian is a spirited account of self-invention.”
The Art Newspaper
“...a much needed volume...Hale directs her work in a magisterial way, never losing track of the main protagonist but also providing much more in her book; this is a portrait of a man’s life, but also of his times.”
Booklist (starred review)
“An excellent biography…Hale’s thorough research, judicious examination of evidence, lucid narrative style, and perceptive and illuminating interpretations of the major works are worthy of her great subject.”
Booklist
"An excellent biography…Hale’s thorough research, judicious examination of evidence, lucid narrative style, and perceptive and illuminating interpretations of the major works are worthy of her great subject."
Michael Dirda
“[A] magnificent account of the incomparable Venetian artist Titian and the world he lived in...Hale writes an elegant, even worldly prose...delicious as well as authoritative...For me, it’s the biography of the year.”
Jonathan Keates
“A magnificent new biography…The elegance and energy of her narrative, together with a born biographer’s eye for detail, make…[this] eminently readable and profoundly authentic…”
Waldemar Januszczak
“Impressive…entertaining…a feat of research…crammed with new or expanded or rethought information about this stubbornly mysterious giant”
Fisun Guner
"It all makes for compelling reading…enriched by vivid anecdotes and gossipy snippets"
Craig Brown
“Scholarly, erudite, panoramic, endlessly inquisitive and as clear as can be.”
Fisun Güner
“It all makes for compelling reading…enriched by vivid anecdotes and gossipy snippets”
The Economist
“Titian stands out among his peers as Shakespeare does among writers, and Sheila Hale’s authoritative and readable book is more than worthy of her subject.”
Sunday Times (London)
“Impressive…entertaining…a feat of research…crammed with new or expanded or rethought information about this stubbornly mysterious giant”
The Guardian
“An exceptional biography of Titian…a superb portrait of the artist-an example of measured scholarship, judicious opinion, and telling framing detail”
Financial Times
“An engrossing new biography…a portrait of Titian in his time…which should endure as the standard Life for the next century”
Daily Telegraph (London)
“Hale provides subtle insights into Titian’s enigmatic last paintings…A scrupulous and exhaustive account that is informed by the latest scholarship, but admirably free of academic cant.”
Wall Street Journal
"Hale’s approach is to try to understand the times in which he lived, and she succeeds brilliantly in capturing the pulse of 16th-century Venice, where the artist spent his working life. . . . Highly readable."
The Economist
"Titian stands out among his peers as Shakespeare does among writers, and Sheila Hale’s authoritative and readable book is more than worthy of her subject."
The Guardian
"An exceptional biography of Titian…a superb portrait of the artist-an example of measured scholarship, judicious opinion, and telling framing detail"
Financial Times
"An engrossing new biography…a portrait of Titian in his time…which should endure as the standard Life for the next century"
New York Times Book Review
"In reconstructing the largely undocumented life of the Venetian master painter, Hale also offers a dazzling look at the splendors of his city."
Independent
"It all makes for compelling reading…enriched by vivid anecdotes and gossipy snippets."
Daily Telegraph (London)
"Hale provides subtle insights into Titian’s enigmatic last paintings…A scrupulous and exhaustive account that is informed by the latest scholarship, but admirably free of academic cant."
The Art Newspaper
"...a much needed volume...Hale directs her work in a magisterial way, never losing track of the main protagonist but also providing much more in her book; this is a portrait of a man’s life, but also of his times."
Booklist (starred review)
“An excellent biography…Hale’s thorough research, judicious examination of evidence, lucid narrative style, and perceptive and illuminating interpretations of the major works are worthy of her great subject.”
California Literary Review
"Hale’s new biography of Titian is a spirited account of self-invention."
Michael Dirda
"[A] magnificent account of the incomparable Venetian artist Titian and the world he lived in...Hale writes an elegant, even worldly prose...delicious as well as authoritative...For me, it’s the biography of the year."
New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

“In reconstructing the largely undocumented life of the Venetian master painter, Hale also offers a dazzling look at the splendors of his city.”

Jonathan Keates
"A magnificent new biography…The elegance and energy of her narrative, together with a born biographer’s eye for detail, make…[this] eminently readable and profoundly authentic…"
Waldemar Januszczak
"Impressive…entertaining…a feat of research…crammed with new or expanded or rethought information about this stubbornly mysterious giant"
Craig Brown
"Scholarly, erudite, panoramic, endlessly inquisitive and as clear as can be."
Library Journal
In this monumental book, Hale (The Man Who Lost His Language: A Case of Aphasia) sets forth what may become the definitive biography of Tiziano Vecellio (c.1480–1576), better known as Titian. Following an apprenticeship with fellow Venetian master Giovanni Bellini, Titian painted frescos, altarpieces, mythological stories, portraits, and more over the course of a career spanning seven decades—many of the works for emperors, kings, noblemen, and high-ranking members of the Catholic Church. Hale examines Titian's life and career within the cultural, economic, political, and social contexts of 16th-century Venice and Italy. As she details his ambitious rise through Venetian society, she also tells the broader story of the artist's stylistic evolution and the world he lived in. The author examines all the available contemporary accounts of Titian's life and work, as well as including recent research. VERDICT This impressive, ambitious, scholarly, interdisciplinary, and somewhat overwhelming (because of its size and the breadth of its historical coverage) book straddles academic disciplines, including art history, history, and literature. Strongly recommended.—Cheryl Ann Lajos, Free Lib. of Philadelphia
Kirkus Reviews
A learned but not entirely compelling portrait of the great Venetian painter. Hale's (The Man Who Lost His Language, 2002, etc.) goal is to capture Titian (1488/90–1576) and his 16th-century world, where employment meant staying in the good graces of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Pope Clement VII or Philip II of Spain. Being a genius didn't hurt either; Titian could even manage to miss deadlines--a battle scene commissioned in 1516 didn't arrive until 1538--because the result was a masterpiece: realer than real life, an improvement on nature. The facts alone attest to an intense life, and facts alone seem to be Hale's specialty. She's from the throw-nothing-away school of biography, where minor transactions receive as much attention as major battles; as a result, Titian frequently gets lost in the so-called bigger picture. He isn't even the most interesting character. That would be his best friend Pietro Aretino, a pornographer, flatterer and would-be cardinal who literally died laughing. Hale is better at capturing Titian's art than his life; she expertly shows how he worked--mixing colors, applying "transparent glazes and semi-opaque scumbles" to create "a cool, hazy subdued effect"--and astutely describes the paintings. The subject of Charles V on Horseback, for example, is "masterful, thoughtful, weary, earnest, certain of his purpose but unsure of his ability to achieve it in the time left to him." The author also asks probing questions about his art, such as the violent Flaying of Marsyas: "Did he want to discover what lay beneath the living flesh that his contemporaries said he painted not with pigments but as though with real, trembling skin?" While not the big, dramatic narrative Titian deserves, Hale's biography frequently rewards the patience it demands.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060598761
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/20/2012
  • Pages: 832
  • Sales rank: 127,143
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sheila Hale has known and often lived in Venice since 1965, when she began as a research assistant to the late John Hale, with whom she worked on Renaissance Venice and The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance. Her guidebook to Venice, first published in 1984, was praised by David Lodge as "the best guidebook I have ever used" and by Eric Newby as "deserving a Nobel Prize." She has written other guidebooks, an architectural history of Verona, and articles for a number of papers, including the New York Times, the London Observer, and the Times Literary Supplement. Her book The Man Who Lost His Language was described by Brenda Maddox as "enlarging the language of love" and by Michael Frayn as "a triumph." Sheila Hale is a trustee of Venice in Peril and lives in Twickenham, England.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Titian

His Life


By Sheila Hale

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2012 Sheila Hale
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-059876-1


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

MOUNTAINS


"Might not this 'mountain man' have been something of a 'canny Scot' or a 'shrewd Swiss'?"

Josiah Gilbert, Titian's Country, 1869


On a clear day in Venice when the wind blows the mist from the lagoon, you can see the distant mountains 110 kilometres to the north where Titian Vecellio was born into a large and locally prominent family in the little township of Pieve di Cadore, close to the border with Habsburg Germany. It was remote, sparsely populated country whose inhabitants were necessarily tough, hard working and used to rationing and penny-pinching. In summer and autumn there was plenty of milk, cheese, butter and fruit from the lush pastures and orchards. But the thin mountain soil did not produce enough grain to last through the long winters, when supplies had to be hauled up through snow-covered valleys on sleds drawn by horses either from Germany or from the fertile Venetian plain. The communal grain stores were closely supervised by the local authorities, who controlled prices for the poor.

A loyal outpost of the Venetian land empire since 1420, the region of Cadore was divided for administrative purposes into centurie or 'centuries'. And the location of Pieve, where an escarpment rises sharply above the then navigable River Piave, was important to Venice as a control point for one of the trading routes between its overseas dominions in the Levant and transalpine Europe. Convoys of pack animals and carts drawn by oxen or horses, one behind to act as a break when descending steep hills, criss-crossed the surrounding valleys. Merchants from the Habsburg Empire, the German kingdoms, Poland, Hungary and Bohemia carried silver, gold, copper, iron, sheets of tin, metal products, hides, worked leather, furs, coarse cloth and minerals to Venice, where the German exchange house, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, 'would by itself ', so it seemed to one Jerusalem pilgrim in Venice at the turn of the fifteenth century, 'suffice to supply all Italy with the goods that come and go'. Produce from the north was traded at the Fondaco for luxury goods made in Venice – glass and mirrors from Murano, refined soaps, richly worked and dyed silks and satins – or imported into Venice from the Levant: preserved fruits, molasses, wine and olive oil; seed pearls, ivory; and the products known as spices, a term that covered a wide range of goods from peacock feathers, fine-spun Egyptian cottons and the ingredients of pigments used by artists and dyers to flavourings (cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, saffron, frankincense, myrrh) that were also essentials as the bases of the only drugs available in Renaissance Europe.

Timber and to a lesser extent iron mining were the principal local industries. Wood in this densely forested area was a precious export commodity, not to be wasted unnecessarily on domestic fires. Venice depended for its very survival on a steady and copious supply of wood from its hinterland, which was imported in vast quantities for building and fitting out the war and trading galleys; for the small boats that plied its waterways; for dykes, palisades and the pilings on which the foundations of its buildings rested; for stoking industrial furnaces and for the unusually numerous domestic fires. Venetians, as we can see from the multitude of conical chimneys in contemporary paintings, liked to keep their houses warmer than those in other northern cities.

Timber was in Titian's blood. He inherited ancestral sawmills near Perarolo, where the River Boite joins the Piave, and later in life ran a timber business in partnership with his brother Francesco and his son Orazio. Rough cut trunks of larch, red and white fir, beech, birch and alder from the forests of Cadore were floated downriver to Perarolo. Here they were sorted, milled, lashed together as rafts, sometimes loaded with iron ore, wool and hides, and transported downriver to Venice where they were parked along the Zattere – the 'rafts' as the quays along the Giudecca Canal are still called – before the wood was sent on for unloading and storage in the timber yard on the northern lagoon, next to the church of San Francesco della Vigna, which the Venetian government, in recognition of the importance of its wood, had granted to Cadore in 1420. It was a privilege that would cause Titian to fall out with the local government later in his life. Cadore supplied Venice with wood into the early twentieth century; and even today you can occasionally hear the buzz of saws in Cadore, in the Parco Rocciolo – the park of rough cut timber – at the base of the castle hill, just above a little piazza, then as now called Piazza Arsenale after an antique arsenal.

Titian was born in this piazza, probably some time between 1488 and 1490 in a house facing a spectacularly jagged fringe of mountains known as the Marmarole, and he spent his early childhood here with his father Gregorio Vecellio, his mother Lucia and their three younger children: Dorotea, born around 1490, Francesco, born not long after 1490, and Orsa, the youngest, born around 1500. A modest cottage of a kind that has now mostly disappeared, it was rediscovered behind a later extension in the early nineteenth century by scholar detectives who identified it from its description in a sale document of 1580. The ground floor, now a little museum, was originally used for storage and in winter for stabling farm animals, whose bodies acted as under-floor heating for the rooms above. The living space on the first floor consists of four small rooms including a kitchen with a flagstone floor and a stove for cooking and heating which would have been kept lit at all times. The other three rooms are wooden boxes, entirely lined with pine for insulation – some of the original ceiling panels cut from giant pine trees are as much as one and a half meters wide. All the windows are small, and the only staircase is external to save space indoors and to act as a fire escape.

Surrounded by dense forests, and guardian to one of the gateways into Italy, the province of Cadore was inevitably subject to frequent fires and to skirmishes with the German and Turkish armies that threatened the borders of the Venetian state. It must have been during one of the sieges by the Habsburg emperor, Maximilian I, in the years between 1508 and 1513 that the parish register of births, baptisms, marriages and deaths was lost, leaving posterity with no certain evidence of the date of birth of Titian, his siblings or indeed anyone else born in Cadore in the previous decades. Titian scholars have been searching without success for this book for at least two centuries.

Unfortunately, since Titian in his later life exaggerated, or perhaps forgot, his age, it is unlikely that we will ever have certain evidence of his exact date of birth. Like many people at the time Titian may not have known or cared exactly when he had been born (neither did Giovanni Bellini or Giorgione, or if they did they left no record of their ages). It would have suited him to exaggerate his age when he was a young artist seeking work in Venice, and again later in life when extreme old age was a rare achievement that commanded great respect. His two earliest biographers, Lodovico Dolce and Giorgio Vasari, both of whom knew him personally, imply that he was born in the late 1480s, and something between 1488 and 1490 is the date that is now, after long and heated controversy, accepted by most authorities. However, his seventeenth-century biographers – an anonymous writer commissioned by a distant relative of Titian4 and Carlo Ridolfi – gave 1477, a date which, like so much misinformation about Titian's life, remains to this day in some of the literature.

Apart from the dramatic mountain scenery and the house where he was born, there isn't much left of Titian's Cadore. The parish church of Santa Maria Nascente where he hoped to be buried and for which he designed a set of frescoes towards the end of his life was torn down in 1813 when remains of the old castle were used to build the bulky neo-Renaissance replacement you see today. The life-sized bronze statue of Titian in the main square, Piazza Tiziano, was erected in the late nineteenth century after Pieve had become part of the newly united Italy. He glares down from his pedestal displaying the gold chain presented to him by the emperor as the insignia of his knighthood, the cap that probably concealed a bald spot and the fiercely down-turned mouth, and wielding palette and brushes like a protective shield against inquisitive posterity. He looks about fifty, still lean and tough, although one can imagine that the rough mountain edges of his voice and manners have been smoothed away. Titian by this time has painted most people of consequence in the Europe of his day. He has a kind of Olympian wisdom, a detached view of the world unencumbered by any particular political or religious agenda (unlike his hero and rival Michelangelo) and a profound understanding of people and how they work. He is regarded almost as a demi-god, an Atlantis, or a reincarnation of Apelles, painter to Alexander the Great. It's hard to imagine him smiling, but on the rare occasions when he does turn up the corners of his mouth it must seem like a gift to the men, and of course the women, he charms with his wit and his self-assured good manners.

If the emperor Charles V really did pick up Titian's paintbrush as Ridolfi tells us, perhaps he was being rewarded for one of those smiles. Both of his contemporary biographers described his charm. "In the first place," says Dolce, "he is extremely modest; he never assesses any painter critically, and willingly discusses in respectful terms anyone who has merit. And then again he is a very fine conversationalist, with powers of intellect and judgment that are quite perfect in all contingencies, and a pleasant and gentle nature. He is affable and copiously endowed with an extreme courtesy of behaviour. And the man who talks to him once is bound to fall in love with him for ever and always."

But elsewhere Dolce uses the verb giostrare, to joust, to indicate a competitive streak. Vasari, who as a Tuscan had reservations about the Venetian way of painting, described him as 'courteous, with very good manners and the most pleasant personality and behaviour', an artist who had surpassed his rivals 'thanks both to the quality of his art and to his ability to get on with gentlemen and make himself agreeable to them'. An anonymous biographer writing in the seventeenth century described him as of a pleasing appearance, circumspect and sagacious in business, with an uncorrupted faith in God, loyal to the Most Serene Republic (a courtesy title given to other European states but most often to Venice, which was widely known as La Serenissima in its strongest period) and especially to his homeland of Cadore. "He is candid, open-hearted, generous and an excellent conversationalist." "Titian", wrote his other posthumous biographer Carlo Ridolfi, echoing Vasari, "had courtly manners ... by frequenting the courts, he learned every courtly habit ... People used to say that the talent he possessed was a particular gift from Heaven, but he never exulted in it." Yet Ridolfi gives us a hint of rough edges to the polished surface of his subject's character. Titian, he tells us, was dismissive of lesser talents, and the highest praise he could bestow on a painting he admired was that it seemed to be by his own hand. What none of his early biographers mention is the lifelong loyalty and devotion to friends and family, the capacity for enjoying himself in company or the dry sense of humour, which must have been one of the qualities that made him such agreeable company. None of them – perhaps because they were all, apart from Vasari, themselves Venetians – says how typically Venetian he was: good humoured, thrifty to the point of stinginess, sweet-tempered but manipulative when necessary for his own ends, and very much his own man.

If you spend a day or two in Cadore you will see Titian's features again: the long bony face, the slightly hooked nose, the fierce gaze. Natives of Cadore are the first to tell you that they look like Titian, and a surprising number bear the name Vecellio – there is a trend in small isolated communities for surnames carried on the male line to increase over centuries. By the time Titian was born, the Vecellio were already one of the largest and most distinguished old families in Cadore. Vasari described the family as 'one of the most noble', a word that was used in the annals of the Vecellio, although no member of the family was of the patrician class and none before Titian himself actually received an imperial title. But his upbringing as a member of a prominent family proud of its long lineage and history of public service might go some way towards explaining the social confidence and the ease with which he acquired those pleasing manners, which were unusual if not unique for an artist at that time.

The Vecellio of Cadore can be traced back to the second half of the thirteenth century. Most were notaries who occupied important positions in the local government. To qualify as a notary it was necessary to be nominated by a count palatine, a man given that title by the emperor, then to satisfy the local authorities, many of whom were also notaries, of competence by delivering before them an eloquent dissertation in Latin in the style of the great Roman advocate Cicero. Notaries were therefore by definition reasonably well connected and educated men. In remote communities like Cadore they fulfilled the roles of attorney, accountant and broker. Their signatures on wills, inventories, powers of attorney, dowry agreements and sales of property gave such documents, theoretically at least, international validity. One of them, a certain Bartolomeo, was also a timber merchant who owned sawmills at Perarolo that Titian would later inherit. Titian's grandfather, known as Conte and one of the most remarkable of the Vecellio clan, must have made a strong impression on the young Titian. He was a shrewd businessman who knew hw to manipulate the price of imported grain and a forceful diplomat who on one occasion managed to persuade the Venetian government to lift from Cadore a punitive tax imposed on outlying regions to finance a war against the Turks. From 1458 until his death around 1513 at what must have been a very advanced age he served the local administration as court auditor nineteen times, and often as delegate to Venice.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Titian by Sheila Hale. Copyright © 2012 by Sheila Hale. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction xv

A Note on Money xix

List of Illustrations xxi

Titian's Family Tree xxiv

Maps xxvi

Part I 1488/90-1518

1 Mountains 3

2 The Most Triumphant City 19

3 The Painter's Venice 44

4 Myths of Venice 65

5 The Fondaco, Giorgione and the Modern Manner 87

6 Miracles and Disasters 99

7 'Some Little Bit of Fame' 117

8 'His Industrious Brush': Pentimenti and Portraits 133

9 Sacred and Profane 150

Part II 1518-1530

1 Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara 169

2 Bacchus and Ariadne 186

3 A New Doge, a River of Wine and Marriage 204

4 The Fall of a World 216

5 The Triumvirate of Taste 234

6 Caesar in Italy 253

7 The Most Beautiful Thing in Italy 276

Part III 1530-1542

1 The Portrait of Cornelia 291

2 The House in Biri Grande 304

3 The Most Powerful Ruler in the World 318

4 The Venus of Urbino 337

5 The Roman Emperors 350

6 The Writers' Venice 366

7 An Old Battle and a New War 385

8 Titian in his Fifties 402

Part IV 1543-1562

1 Aretino Plays Pontius Pilate 427

2 The Last Great Pope of the Renaissance 439

3 A Miracle of Nature 451

4 Rome 461

5 A Matter of Religion 474

6 Augsburg 489

7 The Prince and the Painter 509

8 Venus and Adonis 532

9 The Passing of the Leviathans 550

10 The Diana Poems 570

11 The Rape of Europa 590

Part V 1562-1576

1 A Factory of Images 605

2 The Spider King 620

3 The Biographer, the Art Dealer and the King's Annus Horribilis 641

4 Wars 654

5 'In This my Old Age' 669

6 Another Way of Using Colour 684

7 The Plague and the Pity 704

Titian's Legacy 725

Notes 737

Bibliography 789

Appendix: Locations of Paintings 803

Index 813

Acknowledgements 831

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2014

    Fantastic!

    Fantastic!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)