Titian as a Painter of Portraits

1.  Introduction

Renaissance portraiture flourished as a manifestation of humanism, reviving the ancient classical interest in humanity and emphasising individual development. High Renaissance masters including Titian, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Andrea del Sarto, carried formal portraiture to new heights of refined perception, colour, and light.

Conflict between idealism and realism was a feature of High Renaissance portraiture. Raphael treated portraiture as a side-line, Leonardo submerged individuality in atmospheric effects, Michelangelo ignored likeness altogether. An alternative approach was practised by the venetian painters, led by Titian, using a suggestive rather than detailed technique. They achieved a dramatic portrait style that became popular throughout Europe and influenced future generations of artists, e.g., Rubens, Rembrandt, and Diego Velasquez.

2.  First period: Beginnings and training (1484-1520).

3.  Second period: Artistic development (1520-1540).

4.  Third period: Celebrity and power (1540-1555).

5.  Late period: Final achievement (1556-1576).

6.  References

To be continued


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