The Earlier Work of Titian eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 105 pages of information about The Earlier Work of Titian.

[36] [Greek:  Philostratou Eikonon Erotes.]

[37] Let the reader, among other things of the kind, refer to Rubens’s Jardin a Amour, made familiar by so many repetitions and reproductions, and to Van Dyck’s Madone aux Perdrix at the Hermitage (see Portfolio:  The Collections of Charles I.).  Rubens copied, indeed, both the Worship of Venus and the Bacchanal, some time between 1601 and 1608, when the pictures were at Rome.  These copies are now in the Museum at Stockholm.  The realistic vigour of the Bacchanal proved particularly attractive to the Antwerp master, and he in more than one instance derived inspiration from it.  The ultra-realistic Bacchus seated on a Barrel, in the Gallery of the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, contains in the chief figure a pronounced reminiscence of Titian’s picture; while the unconventional attitude of the amorino, or Bacchic figure, in attendance on the god, is imitated without alteration from that of the little toper whose action Vasari so explicitly describes.

[38] Vasari’s simple description is best:  “Una donna nuda che dorme, tanto bella che pare viva, insieme con altre figure.”

[39] Moritz Thausing’s Albrecht Duerer, Zweiter Band, p. 14.

[40] Crowe and Cavalcaselle, Life and Times of Titian, vol. i. p. 212.

[41] It appears to the writer that this masterpiece of colour and reposeful charm, with its wonderful gleams of orange, pale turquoise, red, blue, and golden white, with its early signature, “Ticianus F.,” should be placed not later than this period.  Crowe and Cavalcaselle assign it to the year 1530, and hold it to be the Madonna with St. Catherine, mentioned in a letter of that year written by Giacomo Malatesta to Federigo Gonzaga at Mantua.  Should not this last picture be more properly identified with our own superb Madonna and Child with St. John and St. Catherine, No. 635 in the National Gallery, the style of which, notwithstanding the rather Giorgionesque type of the girlish Virgin, shows further advance in a more sweeping breadth and a larger generalisation?  The latter, as has already been noted, is signed “Tician.”

[42] “Tizian und Alfons von Este,” Jahrbuch der Koeniglich Preussischen Kunstsammlungen, Fuenfzehnter Band, II.  Heft, 1894.

[43] Crowe and Cavalcaselle, Life and Times of Titian, vol. i. pp. 237-240.

[44] On the circular base of the column upon which the warrior-saint rests his foot is the signature “Ticianus faciebat MDXXII.”  This, taken in conjunction with the signature “Titianus” on the Ancona altar-piece painted in 1520, tends to show that the line of demarcation between the two signatures cannot be absolutely fixed.

[45] Lord Wemyss possesses a repetition, probably from Titian’s workshop, of the St. Sebastian, slightly smaller than the Brescia original.  This cannot have been the picture catalogued by Vanderdoort as among Charles I.’s treasures, since the latter, like the earliest version of the St. Sebastian, preceding the definitive work, showed the saint tied not to a tree, but to a column, and in it the group of St. Roch and the Angel was replaced by the figures of two archers shooting.

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The Earlier Work of Titian from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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