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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 87 pages of information about The Earlier Work of Titian.
Love, as for identification we must still continue to call it, strives to keep close to the main lines of his story, in this differing from Giorgione.  But for all that, his love for the rich beauty of the Venetian country, for the splendour of female loveliness unveiled, for the piquant contrast of female loveliness clothed and sumptuously adorned, has conquered.  He has presented the Romanised legend of the fair Colchian sorceress in such a delightfully misleading fashion that it has taken all these centuries to decipher its true import.  What Giorgione and Titian in these exquisite idylls—­for so we may still dare to call them—­have consciously or unconsciously achieved, is the indissoluble union of humanity outwardly quiescent, yet pulsating with an inner life and passion, to the environing nature.  It is Nature herself that in these true painted poems mysteriously responds, that interprets to the beholder the moods of man, much as a mighty orchestra—­Nature ordered and controlled—­may by its undercurrent explain to him who knows how to listen what the very personages of the drama may not proclaim aloud for themselves.  And so we may be deeply grateful to Herr Wickhoff for his new interpretations, not less sound and thoroughly worked out than they are on a first acquaintance startling.  And yet we need not for all that shatter our old ideals, or force ourselves too persistently to look at Venetian art from another and a more prosaic, because a more precise and literal, standpoint.

[Illustration:  Vanitas.  Alte Pinakothek, Munich.  From a Photograph by Hanfstaengl.]

CHAPTER II

Frescoes of the Scuola del Santo—­The “Herodias” type of picture—­Holy Families and Sacred Conversations—­Date of the “Cristo della Moneta” Is the “Concert” of the Pitti by Titian?—­The “Bacchanal” of Alnwick Castle.

It has been pointed out by Titian’s biographers that the wars which followed upon the League of Cambrai had the effect of dispersing all over North Italy the chief Venetian artists of the younger generation.  It was not long after this—­on the death of his master Giorgione—­that Sebastiano Luciani migrated to Rome and, so far as he could, shook off his allegiance to the new Venetian art; it was then that Titian temporarily left the city of his adoption to do work in fresco at Padua and Vicenza.  If the date 1508, given by Vasari for the great frieze-like wood-engraving, The Triumph of Faith, be accepted, it must be held that it was executed before the journey to Padua.  Ridolfi[23] cites painted compositions of the Triumph as either the originals or the repetitions of the wood-engravings, for which Titian himself drew the blocks.  The frescoes themselves, if indeed Titian carried them out on the walls of his house at Padua, as has been suggested, have perished; but that they ever came into existence there would not appear to be any direct evidence.  The types,

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