The Later Works of Titian eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about The Later Works of Titian.
The body is taken with all due observance to the great church of the Frari, and there interred in the Cappella del Crocifisso, which Titian has already, before the quarrel with the Franciscans, designated as his final resting-place.  He is spared the grief of knowing that the favourite son, Orazio, for whom all these years he has laboured and schemed, is to follow him immediately, dying also of the plague, and not even at Biri Grande, but in the Lazzaretto Vecchio, near the Lido; that the incorrigible Pomponio is to succeed and enjoy the inheritance after his own unworthy fashion.  He is spared the knowledge of the great calamity of 1577, the destruction by fire of the Sala del Gran Consiglio, and with it, of the Battle of Cadore, and most of the noble work done officially for the Doges and the Signoria.  One would like to think that this catastrophe of the end must have come suddenly upon the venerable master like a hideous dream, appearing to him, as death often does to those upon whom it descends, less significant than it does to us who read.  Instead of remaining fixed in sad contemplation of this short final moment when the radiant orb goes suddenly down below the horizon in storm and cloud, let us keep steadily in view the light as, serene in its far-reaching radiance, it illuminated the world for eighty splendid years.  Let us think of Titian as the greatest painter, if not the greatest genius in art, that the world has produced; as, what Vasari with such conviction described him to be, “the man as highly favoured by fortune as any of his kind had ever been before him."[63]


[Footnote 1:  “The Earlier Work of Titian,” Portfolio, October 1897.]

[Footnote 2:  According to the catalogue of 1892, this picture was formerly in the sacristy of the Escorial in Spain.  It can only be by an oversight that it is therein described as “possibly painted there,” since Titian never was in Spain.]

[Footnote 3:  It is especially to be noted that there is not a trace of red in the picture, save for the modest crimson waistband of the St. Catherine.  Contrary to almost universal usage, it might almost be said to orthodoxy, the entire draperies of the Virgin are of one intense blue.  Her veil-like head-gear is of a brownish gray, while the St. Catherine wears a golden-brown scarf, continuing the glories of her elaborately dressed hair.  The audacity of the colour-scheme is only equalled by its success; no calculated effort at anything unusual being apparent.  The beautiful naked putto who appears in the sky, arresting the progress of the shepherds, is too trivial in conception for the occasion.  A similar incident is depicted in the background of the much earlier Holy Family, No. 4. at the National Gallery, but there the messenger angel is more appropriately and more reverently depicted as full-grown and in flowing garments.]

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The Later Works of Titian from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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