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Full text of "The early work of Titian"

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HANDBOUND 
AT THE 




NEWNESS" ART 
SUJBRARYS 



THE EARLY WORK 
OF TITIAN 




:hurch of Sta Maria del Fran. Venice 



Ph.oto Anderson 



THE PESARO MADONNA 




l ti E EAREf 

OF TITIAN 





LONDON'GEORGE NEWNES- LIMITED- 
SOUTHAMPTON STREET STRAND-WG 
NEW YORK- FREDKrWARNE & CO36EAST22^ST 



CONTENTS. 

Page 

Titian. By MALCOLM BELL ........ vii. 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. Plate 

/The Pesaro Madonna ^ . ....... Frontispiece. 

^The " Gipsy Madonna "......... I 

Isabella d'Este. .......... 2 

^The Madonna with the Cherries . . . . . . . 3 

Benedetto Varchi . .' ' . . . . . . ' . 4 

vX Francis I. ........... 5 

fThe Man with the Glove ........ 6 

i/lVIadonna with the Rabbit ......... 7 

v/ Madonna and Child, with SS. Stephen, Ambrose, and Maurice . . 8 

The Entombment .......... 9 

,/Allegory of Alfonso d'Avalos ........ 10 

'/Laura Dianti and Alfonso of Ferara II 

Admiral Giovanni Moro ........ 12 

Portrait of a Young Man ......... 13 

Lady in a Red Dress ......... 14 

'"The Tribute Money ......... 15 

A/Iadonna and Child with Saints ....... 16 

i/Vanity ' . . . . . .' . . . . 17 

A Landscape with Cattle ......... 18 

Bacchus and Ariadne . . . . . . . . 19 

(Detail) 20 

(Detail) 21 

A Holy Family ........ . 22 

Portrait of Ariosto ....... ... 23 

- Noli Me Tangere .......... 24 

Holy Family with an adoring Shepherd . . . . . . 25 

Jean de Sforza, Bishop of Paphos, presented to St. Peter by Pope 

Alexander VI 26 

f Virgin in Glory .......... 27 

St. Sebastian ........... 28 

The Magdalen ........... 29 

La Bella ........... 30 

Portrait of a Man .......... 31 

Cardinal Ippolito de Medici ..... . 32 

Sketch for " The Battle of Cadore " 33 

Eleanora Gonzaga, Duchess of Urbino ...... 34 

Francesco Maria della Rovere, Duke of Urbino . . . . . 35 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Continued. 

Plate. 

Venus ........... . 36 

Madonna and Child, with St. John and St. Anthony . . 37 

Flora ... 38 

Caterina Cornaro ...... ... 39 

Death of St. Anthony .... .... 40 

Sacred and Profane Love ......... 41 

(Detail) . . 42 

(Detail) 43 

The Baptism of Christ ......... 44 

The Daughter of Herodias with the Head of John the Baptist . . 45 

Madonna and Child with Saints ....... 46 

Vanity ............ 47 

The Madonna and Child with Saints ...... 48 

The Annunciation . . ... . . . . . . 49 

^The Assumption .......... 50 

(Detail) ... 51 

(Detail) 52 

(Detail) . 53 

The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple .... 54 

St. Christopher . . . . . . . . . . 55 

The Annunciation ......... 56 

The Pesaro Madonna (Detail) . . . . . . . . 57 

Death of Peter Martyr . . . ... 58 

St. Mark and Four Saints .... .... 59 

Charles V. and his Dog . . . . . .... . 60 

*A Bacchanal . . . . 61 

Sacrifice to the Goddess of Festivity and Love ..... 62 

Alfonso d'Este ........... 63 

Doge Grimani .... ..... 64 




TITIAN 



BY MALCOLM BELL 




NE day towards the end of August, 1576, those 
inhabitants of Venice who dwelt in the neighbour- 
hood of the great church of the Frari must have been 
amazed by the unwonted appearance in their midst 
of a funeral procession, distinguished by exceptional 
pomp and ceremony, and escorted by all that were 
most remarkable for wisdom, worth, or wealth among 
their fellow-citizens. Not that signs of mourning were 
at that time any rarity, since for more than a year the Plague had been 
raging, in palace and hovel alike, through the town, and nearly fifty 
thousand inmates out of a total of some one hundred and ninety 
thousand had fallen victims to it ; nor that, under ordinary circum- 
stances, a procession was any novelty, for with the light-hearted 
Venetians, devoted to a life carried on as far as possible in the open 
air, passionate lovers of colour, mirth, and music, and provided, as 
they were, in their sunlit canals and marble palaces with an unrivalled 
field for effective display, a procession was the almost inevitable form 
that any public celebration assumed, as is still witnessed by the numer- 
ous contemporary paintings of such which survive. 

The marvel lay in the fact that at such a period of stress and sorrow 
a solemn public funeral should be accorded to any man, and that, in 
absolutely unprecedented defiance of the rigid edict to the contrary, 
anyone however honoured, who had died of the Plague, should be 
admitted to sepulchre within the walls of a city church. To those 
who knew, nevertheless, the explanation was as simple and satisfactory 
as it was saddening. On August the twenty-seventh Tiziano Vecellio, 
" il gran Tiziano," had died ; the city's brightest light was extinguished 
by the same foul pestilence that had already quenched so many lesser 



THE EARLY WORK OF TITIAN 

lights, and neither fear of possible further infection nor respect for 
the indisputable* reasonableness of the sanitary laws could be allowed 
on such an occasion to prevent Venice from testifying to her grief 
and sense of the irreparable loss she had sustained. For nearly ninety 
years he had resided in her midst, ever returning though neighbour- 
ing states and foreign potentates might lure him away for awhile ; 
for more than sixty years his artistic fame had been chief among the 
city's glories, and now, at the great age of nine-and-ninety, still vigor- 
ous, still laborious, as may be seen in the Pieta, now in the Academy 
at Venice, which he left unfinished, he had been suddenly stricken 
down, and his fellow townsmen had flung prudence and precedent to 
the winds in order to pay fitting tribute to his marvellous hundred 
years. And what a hundred years in the history of art that had 
been! In the .course of it Italian painting and sculpture alike had 
developed from raw adolescence, if not from actual infancy, to the 
fullest and completest maturity that the world had ever witnessed. 
Titian was already a schoolboy had, perhaps, even commenced his 
artistic education when Andrea Verrochio, whom he may well have 
met, died in 1488, Piero della Francesca in 1492, and Ghirlandajo in 
1494, from which year also dates the last signed work of Carlo Crivelli, 
though the exact time of his death is unknown. He was certainly well 
advanced in his studies when Pollaiolo and Benozzo Gozzoli died in 
1498, and had doubtless already given promise of the astounding 
fertility of genius to come when Filippino Lippi died in 1504 and 
Mantegna in 1506 ; while we know that he had produced still famous 
wprks by the time Gentile Bellini died in 1507, Botticelli in 1510, and 
Pinturrichio in 1513. He may have seen Perugino when he visited 
Venice in 1494, and must have met Diirer, if not on the occasion of 
his first stay during the same year, at any rate when he sojourned 
there later from 1505 till 1507 ; for it is generally recognised that 
his Tribute Money, now at Dresden, was painted about 1508 in emula- 
tion of the German master's minutely finished method. His reputation 
was sufficiently established to enable him to apply for and obtain an 
appointment held by the venerable Giovanni Bellini when he died 
in 1516 ; and he was secure at the head of his profession when Lionardo 
da Vinci died in 1519, Piero di Cosimo in 1521, Carpaccio about 1522, 
Signorelli in 1523, and Luini some ten years later. Besides these 
survivors of an earlier generation his career overlapped at both ends 
those of many of the most famous painters. Lucas Cranach the elder, 
indeed, who died in 1553, was born five years before him ; and Michel 
Angelo, who died in 1563, was his senior by two years ; while Sodoma, 
who died in 1549, was born the same year as Titian. Giorgione, who 
died in 1511, was perhaps a little older, though this is uncertain ; but 
Palma Vecchio and Lorenzo Lotto were both born about 1480 and 
died, the first in 1528, the second about 1555. Raphael and Pordenone 
both saw the light in 1483, dying respectively in 1520 and 1539. 



THE EARLY WORK OF TITIAN 

Sebastian del Piombo, born in 1485, died in 1547, and the Papal office, 
to which he owed his nickname, was then offered to Titian, who, faith- 
ful to his Venice, however, declined it. Andrea del Sarto, the unlucky, 
was born in 1486 and died in 1531 ; Giulio Romano, Raphael's most 
famous pupil, was born in 1492, and died in 1546 ; while Correggio, the 
most brilliant exemplar of the approaching decadence, who was born in 
1494, died more than forty years before Titian, in 1534. How sudden 
and abrupt the decline was during Titian's later years is lamentably 
demonstrated by the fact that though it has been advisable to select 
only the best of those who were at work when he was born, or who 
flourished and died during his lifetime, only two really great painters 
in all Europe survived him Tintoretto and Veronese and when 
the temporary revival came it was not in Italy, but in Spain with 
Velazquez, in Holland with Hals and Rembrandt, and in Flanders 
with Rubens and Van Dyck. 

Yet though so long, so intimately, and so honourably connected 
with the life of Venice, with the varied fortunes of which during that 
century we cannot here concern ourselves, Titian was not a native 
of the town, having been born in 1477 atjigve di Cadore^ a village 
in the Southern Tyrol among the mountains now generally known to 
climbers as the Dolomites, which region at the time of his birth, together 
with a large part of the north of Italy, Naples, much of the Eastern 
coast of the Adriatic, and all the important islands in the Mediter- 
ranean, paid allegiance to the Venetian Republic. His father, Gregorio 
di Conte Vecelli, a wise and valiant soldier of good family, but probably 
of no great wealth, was consequently a citizen of that state, and it 
was natural enough that when his son was sufficiently advanced in 
years he should send him to profit by the ampler educational advantages 
of the capital. At the age of nine or ten, therefore, the boy was 
entrusted to the care of his uncle Antonio, who was a lawyer in Venice. 
Whether at that time there was any definite intention of bringing him 
up as a painter is uncertain. The record of his early years is a blank 
sheet, but we may reasonably conclude that his enthusiasm for art 
was a later growth. There can have been little in the small village of 
Pieve to arouse in him any artistic enthusiasm ; there was, as far as 
is known, no hereditary tendency in the family to art, and it is scarcely 
a rash conjecture that he was destined to follow rather in his uncle's 
footsteps. He may even have steadily pursued that path for some years, 
for otherwise it is difficult to account for the fact that we hear nothing 
of him as a painter until twenty years later. The course of his art 
training is no less vague. Vasari asserts that he entered the studio 
of Giovanni Bellini ; but Ludovico Dolci, also a friend of the painter's, 
and equally well qualified to speak with authority, declares that he 
began his education under the supervision of Sebastiano Zuccati, was 
then transferred to Gentile Bellini, and only in the end became a pupil 
of Giovanni ; while some more recent critics are inclined to doubt 



THE EARLY WORK OF TITIAN 

whether he was ever brought actually into contact with that painter. 
His influence, at any rate, on the work of the younger man would seem 
to have been of the slightest. It is, indeed, distinctly traceable in his 
Man of Sorrows, in the Scuola di San Rocco at Venice, which is be- 
lieved to have been painted about 1500 ; and the Madonna and Child, 
known as La Zingarella, in the Imperial Gallery at Vienna, is decidedly 
Bellinesque in its arrangement, but such a limited effect is no more 
than we might expect to have been produced on the initial efforts of 
a beginner by the chief artistic individuality of the time, without 
necessitating any personal instruction ; and many modern instances 
of a similar indirect and often ephemeral obsession will occur to any 
student of art history. It is, at any rate, to be hoped, for the sake of 
Titian's reputation as a kind-hearted and straightforward man, that 
he never was the pupil of the elder master, since, if he had been, his 
attempt to oust him in his old age from an office of some importance 
would then be even less defensible than it is in any case. For nearly 
forty years Giovanni had occupied the post of La Senseria or Brokerage 
in the Fondaco de' Tedeschi, which was worth 120 crowns a year, though 
it would not seem to have implied any commercial duties, the chief 
obligation on the holder being to paint a portrait of each newly-elected 
Doge for the fixed sum of eight crowns, payable by the sitter. The 
income appears scarcely magnificent enough to have tempted so pros- 
perous a man as Titian, and it was perhaps more the honour that he 
coveted when he urged a claim to the position, which was actually 
granted to him on May 3ist, 1513. The order, however, was rescinded 
on March 24th, 1514, and it was not until November, 1516, after 
BeJlini's death, that he was established in secure possession of it. 
Such a sordid intrigue is scarcely consistent with the common respect 
which a venerable master might look for in a successful pupil, but a 
knowledge of human nature will not allow us to say that such base 
ingratitude is impossible, and we can only leave the question still un- 
answered. 

All that we can be sure of is that at about the same time Titian, 
Giorgione, and Palma Vecchio emerge as more or less interdependent 
and original investigators from among the followers of more primitive 
traditions. Whether there was one masterful leading spirit holding 
some such sway as Dante Gabriel Rossetti did over our own Pre- 
Raphaelite brotherhood, and if so which of the three it was, or whether 
each for himself struck out the new and sure road to artistic truth as 
Darwin and Wallace one among the peaceful Kentish hills, the other 
far away in tropical Malaysia hit simultaneously but independently 
upon the true solution of the problem of the origin of species, is more 
than we dare say. It is indubitable that contemporary evidence points 
to Giorgione as the innovator and Titian as the follower ; but con- 
temporary eyes do not invariably see clearly, and there are certainly 
some reasons that should lead us to at least a suspension of judgment. 



THE EARLY WORK OF TITIAN 

Giorgione is, indeed, believed to have been to an uncertain extent 
the eldest of the three, but in such matters age is of less weight than a 
vigorous personality, and this, at all events, we know Titian to have 
had. The consideration is, however, complicated by the fact that 
Giorgione died so young, and works assuredly his are so rare that we 
dare not speculate as to what lines he might have developed along, 
and are reduced, perforce, to a reliance on the career of Titian alone ; 
and this, at any rate, does not follow the course usually pursued by 
a strong individuality temporarily under the control of another still 
stronger. In such cases, as a rule, on the removal of the influence 
the hitherto suppressed personality begins to assert itself, sometimes 
gradually, sometimes suddenly, but always unmistakably ; and of 
this, in the progress of Titian's art subsequent to the death of Giorgione 
in 1511, we can observe no trace. We find no such hesitation or un- 
certainty as we might look for when the guiding hand was withdrawn, 
no such vacillations between the impressed and the inherent point 
of view. He continues to advance, to improve, to develop ; his out- 
look on life becomes ever broader, his technical mastery more supreme ; 
but the advance continues steadily along the same road, there is no 
break in its coherence, no parting of the ways. It is true that tradition 
states that his first known work, the long-since perished decorations 
on the outward walls of the Fondaco de' Tedeschi, was executed by 
him in 1507 as assistant to Giorgione, but this does not necessarily 
imply that Titian looked upon Giorgione as his master or artistic 
foster-father, and as the two are known to have worked on different 
faces of the building their association may well have been that of 
equal powers rather than of patron and dependent, and we may in 
conclusion quite as justifiably assume that Titian influenced Giorgione 
and Palma as that Giorgione influenced the other two, or, likeliest of 
all, that there was constant mutual action and reaction of influence 
among all three, one contributing one discovery, another another, to 
the building up of a perfected method. 

Be this as it may, there can be little doubt that the chief active force 
in Titian's art evolution was Venice herself, that marvellous city the 
praise of whose beauty has been so often recorded in prose and verse, 
one example of which we may select as having been written by Philippe 
de Comines, the well-known minister of Louis XL of France and his 
successors, who was sent as Ambassador to the Signory during Titian's 
early manhood. Of the Grand Canal he writes in his Memoirs, as 
translated by Thomas Dannett a hundred years later : " Sure in mine 
opinion it is the goodliest streete in the world and the best built, and 
reacheth in length from the one end of the towne to the other. Their 
buildings are high and stately, and all of fine stone. The ancient houses 
be all painted ; but the rest that have been built within these hundred 
years have their front all of white marble brought thither out of Istria 
an hundred miles thence, and are beautiful with many great peeces of 



THE EARLY WORK OF TITIAN 

Porphire and Sarpentine. In the most part of them are at the least 
two chambers the seeling whereof is gilded, the mantle-trees of the 
chimnies verie rich, to wit of grauen marble, the bedsteads gilded, 
the presses painted and vermeiled with golde, and marvellous well- 
furnished with stuffe. To be short, it is the most triumphant citie 
that ever I saw." It was not, however, the gem alone, but the setting, 
the wide stretches of emerald sea, the far spaces of sapphire sky, linked 
by the line of distant snowy Alps or the nearer Euganean hills ; it was not 
the scene alone, but the actors in all their gorgeousness of many-coloured 
apparelling, the beautiful women, the stately men, the strangely garbed 
foreigners from the Orient and elsewhere overseas, ever shifting, ever 
recombining under the cloudless southern sun, and making up an 
unending panorama of colour, drifting ceaselessly before the painter's 
eyes, while the contrasting scantiness of attire among the lower classes 
during the summer heats supplied an equally inexhaustible feast of 
form. Whether Zuccati or Bellini or Giorgione was his master in the 
mere mechanism of the painter's craft is but a small matter after all ; 
it was Venice herself that taught him all his deepest secrets and inspired 
his glowing canvases. Nor must the claim of Cadore to a share in his 
artistic development be altogether ignored, for, though we have seen 
that he left it at an early age we cannot doubt that even then a passionate 
admiration for beauty of form and colour in nature, and an inborn 
aptitude for observing and registering her fleeting impressions must 
have been already awakened in his mind, or that in later years the 
memories of his environment in his youthful days formed an important 
part of his mental equipment, and consciously or unconsciously tinged 
his methods of imaginative expression, To these we may safely assign 
some at least of his superb landscape backgrounds with their dim 
horizons, their masterly knowledge of cloud effects, their storm and 
sunshine, and their sense of the height and depth of the blue vault 
over all. Not to the reminiscences of childhood alone, however, are 
these due. It was not left for Mr. Kipling, stirringly as he has sung of 
the fact, to discover that " hillmen desire the hills," and that there is 
no longing so keen for the land of birth as that which lives in the breasts 
of natives of mountain countries. We may feel sure that Titian would 
have in no way sympathised with John Evelyn though some seventy 
years after the painter's death that English traveller went, according 
to his own account, when in Venice, to the church of " St. Paul," 
" purposely to see the tomb of Titian " in his opinion as to the " strange, 
horrid, and fearfull craggs and tracts, abounding in pine trees, and 
onely inhabited by bears, wolves, and wild goats," which he found so 
" melancholy and troublesome." Though a vast majority of his 
contemporaries regarded the mountains with even more exaggerated 
dread, peopling them with devils, dragons, and fantastic monsters, 
we cannot doubt that Titian loved them, and we know that he visited 
and studied them, since drawings boldly and freely executed with the 



THE EARLY WORK OF TITIAN 

reed pen by him still exist drawings which even in his lifetime 
attracted the admiration of his fellow artists and from which in the 
following century even Rembrandt himself did not disdain to borrow. 
The main facts of Titian's life need not detain us long. In 1511 
he was summoned to Padua, where, with the assistance of Domenico 
Campagnola and other Paduan and Venetian artists, he designed and 
in part painted a series of frescoes in the Scuola del Santo, St. Anthony 
being for every good Paduan the Saint par e%cellence ; and in the Scuola 
del Carmine, which occupied him throughout 1512, though he probably 
resided and worked for the most part in Venice, visiting Padua at in- 
tervals to superintend and share in the work. In 1513, when he made 
the attempt to supersede Bellini, which has been already referred to, 
he was certainly there. In 1514 he appears to have visited Ferrara, 
and undoubtedly did so in 1515, when he met and painted Ariosto ; 
but in 1516 he was back in Venice, for he then accepted a commission 
to paint the famous Assumption of the Virgin for the church of the 
Frari, which is now in the Academy at Venice, and was further engaged 
by the state to carry on the work in the Sala del Gran Consiglio of the 
Doge's Palace which Bellini had left uncompleted at his death. At 
some time in the same year he again was invited by Alfonso d Este, 
Duke of Ferrara, to that city, and there painted divers pictures for 
that potentate. He was also employed at somewhat uncertain dates 
by the reigning house of Mantua, which probably explains the fact 
that the Assumption was not ready for public exhibition until St. 
Bernardino's day, 1518, nor Bellini's Submission of Frederick Barbarossa 
finished until 1522. In 1523 and again in 1527 he was once more work- 
ing in Ferrara, and so fully occupied there and elsewhere that he was 
in a position to refuse tempting offers from both Rome and Paris 
during the following year. He met the Emperor Charles V. at Bologna 
in 1530, whence he moved yet again to Ferrara in the company of the 
new Duke, Federigo Gonzaga ; but he rejoined the Emperor at Bologna 
in 1532 and painted his portrait. It has been conjectured that he 
afterwards accompanied the Emperor on his return to Spain, and a 
patent, signed at Barcelona and dated May loth, 1533, creating him 
Count Palatine of the Empire and Knight of St. lago, has been regarded 
as evidence of the fact ; but this would not necessarily imply his 
personal presence, and it is doubtful whether he ever went to the 
Peninsula. He was in Bologna once more in 1543, visiting and painting 
the Pope, Paul III., at whose instance probably he finally went to 
Rome in 1545 in the suite of Guidobaldo, Duke of Urbino, and there 
met Michelangelo. > Two years later he went to the Emperor Charles 
at Augsburg, and after his abdication was patronised by his successor, 
Philip II., who clearly held him in the highest estimation, since, when 
Titian in 1554 complained of the irregularity in the payment of his 
annual allowance of four hundred crowns, he administered a sufficiently 
severe rebuke to the Governor of Milan, who was responsible for the 



THE EARLY WORK OF TITIAN 

disbursement. His later years it would be impertinent in his case 
to speak of declining years were presumably .passed in honourable 
repose, though not in idleness, in his Venetian home under the care of 
his sister Orsa, who came to keep house for him when his wife Cecilia 
died in August, 1530, and his children Pomponio, Orazio, and Lavinia. 
Though Titian frequently signed his pictures generally in the 
Latinised form, Titianus or Ticianus, and only rarely, as on The Pilgrims 
at Emmaus in the Louvre, Ticien, or Tician as on the Madonna and 
Child in the National Gallery he very seldom dated them, and it is 
only in comparatively few cases, some of which have been already 
noticed, that we can ascribe anything more than an approximate date 
to them. Among these is a figure of St. Christopher, painted in 1513, 
at the foot of a small staircase leading to the Council Room of the 
Doge's Palace, which is the sole example of his work in fresco which 
remains to Venice. Rich in colour and bold in drawing, it seems to 
have been completed in two days, and was perhaps made either as a 
preliminary trial in that material or as a proof-piece for the satisfaction 
of his intending employers as to his competency. The Bacchus and 
Ariadne in the National Gallery is said to have been painted at Ferrara 
for Alfonso I. in 1514, and, though ranking in consequence among his 
earlier works, may be considered as the most perfect expression, with 
one possible exception, of Titian's imaginative powers. It was this 
sublime work which Charles Lamb took as his main argument in his 
diatribe " On the Productions of Modern Art," and his appreciation 
of its subtleties is so enthusiaistic and so just that I am unable to 
refrain from quoting part of it here : " Precipitous with his reeling 
sa^yr rout about him, re-peopling and re-illuming suddenly the waste 
places, drunk with a new fury beyond the grape, Bacchus, born in 
fire, fire-like flings himself at the Cretan. This is the time present. 
With this telling of the story, an artist, and no ordinary one, might 
remain richly proud. Guido, in his harmonious version of it, saw no 
farther. But from the depths of the imaginative spirit Titian has 
recalled past time, and laid it contributory with the present to one 
simultaneous effect. With the desert all ringing with the mad cymbals 
of his followers, made lucid with the presence and new offers of a god 
as if unconscious of Bacchus, or but idly casting her eyes as upon 
some unconcerning pageant her soul undistracted from Theseus- 
Ariadne is still pacing the solitary shore in as much heart-silence, and 
in almost the same local solitude with which she awoke at daybreak 
to catch the forlorn last glances of the sail that bore away the Athenian. 
There are two points miraculously co-uniting : fierce society, with the 
feeling of solitude still absolute ; noonday revelations, with the acci- 
dents of the dull gray dawn unquenched and lingering the present 
Bacchus with the past Ariadne : two stories, with double Time ; 
separate, and harmonising. Had the artist made the woman one shade 
less indifferent to the god ; still more, had she expressed a rapture 



THE EARLY WORK OF TITIAN 

at his advent, where would have been the story of the mighty desolation 
of the heart previous ? Merged in the insipid accident of a flattering 
offer met with a welcome acceptance. The broken heart for Theseus 
was not likely to be pieced up by a god." It is with the general con- 
ception of the subject alone that " Elia " deals, for Lamb had no 
expert knowledge of art, and even with that only broadly, for he 
leaves more unsaid than he notes about its manifold psychological 
refinements, which strike well-nigh every note in the gamut from 
tragedy to farce ; but in its technical qualities it is as entirely im- 
peccable, and remains, in one opinion at least, the finest picture that 
the world can show. The possible exception, which I grudgingly 
concede, is the canvas in the Borghese Gallery generally known as 
Sacred and Profane Love, which title serves as well as any of the many 
others that have been suggested, for it is a matter of small import- 
ance what exactly Titian meant by these two female figures, the one 
nearly nude, the other attired in gorgeous raiment seated beside a 
marble tank in which a little Cupid playfully dabbles. It is merely 
a harmony in form and colour, exquisite in both conception j and 
execution, appealing to the senses, though in no way sensual, not to 
the reason, though wholly reasonable, and arousing that feeling of 
vague, inexpressible delight which we are more accustomed to associate 
with strains of delicious music. The six saints now in the Vatican 
were painted for the Church of St. Niciolo at Venice in 1523, and a 
portrait of Catherine Cornaro, the ill-used Queen of Cyprus, in 1524. 
Several copies of this exist, and the whereabouts of the real original 
is still a matter of dispute. 1526 saw the completion of the artist's 
most magnificent religious work, the Pesaro Madonna, which is still 
in its place in the Frari, close to the spot where repose the ashes of the 
master. Not so fortunate were the Death of Peter Martyr, painted 
in 1530, and the Doge Andrea Gritti, Presented to the Virgin by St. 
Mark, painted in 1531, the first having perished in the flames in 1867, 
and the second in a similar catastrophe as far back as 1577. A portrait 
of Cardinal Ippolito de Medici in the Pitti dates from 1532, and por- 
traits of Francesco Maria I. della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, and Eleonora 
Gonzaga, his wife, both in the Uffizi, and both among the finest of his 
portraits, from 1537. A portrait of an unknown man at Berlin belongs 
to 1542, a grand equestrian portrait of Charles V. at Munich to 1548, 
and an elaborate half-historical, half-mystical picture at Madrid to 
I 554- The magnificent decorative canvas in the Doge's Palace, 
representing Antonio Grimani in adoration of the Cross, known as 
La Fede, was begun in 1555, and, fortunately, not having been re- 
moved to its destined place at Titian's death, escaped the fire of 1577. 
The fine portrait of the Cornaro family at Alnwick Castle was painted 
in 1560, and an unknown portrait at Berlin in the following year ; 
while a portrait at Munich dated 1570 is the latest to which a certain 
year can be assigned. 



THE EARLY WORK OF TITIAN 

To speak at any length of works of only approximate dates would 
carry me far beyond my limits. In the course of his exceptionally 
protracted career Titian produced a bewildering number of paintings, 
and there was no branch of pictorial art which he did not attempt and 
succeed in ; for if we drew up a list of these as long, complete, and 
categorical as Polonius' well-known definition of the types of the 
drama, we could without difficulty find numerous representatives of 
each. Though time has brought about the transference of many, 
and the destruction of some, the churches of Italy are still rich in his 
altar-pieces, such as those in S. Rocco and S. Maria della Salute at 
Venice, and those at Treviso, Brescia, Ancona, and elsewhere. No 
public gallery and few private collections of any importance are with- 
out, at least, one example of his genius, and of these the finest and most 
typical are here reproduced, and may well be left to speak for them- 
selves. To sum up in a few brief paragraphs the leading charac- 
teristics of so many-sided and so prolific a genius is a task far beyond 
my powers. When one has called attention to the inexhaustible 
fertility of his invention, his marvellous powers of realisation, his 
supreme mastery of technical methods, his unfailing adaptation of 
means to end, his keen insight into human nature ; when one has 
tried to crystallise into written words his unfailing feeling for beau- 
tiful form, his absolute command of rich and glowing colour, we have 
but built up a lifeless effigy. The spirit that inspires it all still escapes 
us, and that can be only seen and felt face to face with the master- 
pieces themselves. Whether it is expressed in mere playful fancy, in 
delicate and unseizable poetical imaginings, in deep religious senti- 
ment, or in keen incisive analysis of personalities, it is always sincere, 
serious, and convinced. That, at any rate, in his later years the 
sensuous at times verged upon the sensual cannot be altogether denied, 
that the accomplished facility of his hand sometimes led him to the 
border of carelessness may be conceded ; but he was never vulgar, 
never trivial. That a man should remain uninterruptedly at his 
highest level through the whole of a working life of more than seventy 
years is more than we have a right to ask, but when we pass in mental 
review the long catalogue of his magnificent achievements in all their 
amazing variety, we feel no hesitation in proclaiming him the greatest 
artist that has ever lived. 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 




ISABELLA D'ESTE 



Photo, Hanfstangh 

ROYAL GALLERY, VIENNA 




BENEDETTO VARCHI 



Phito, Hanfit.ingl 

ROYAL GALLEk\, VIENNA 




FRANCIS I. 



Photn, Braun, Clement 

LOUVRE, PARIS 




THE MAN WITH THE GLOVE 



Pkoto, Braun, Clement 

LOUVRE, PARIS 







ALLEGORY OF ALFONSO D'AVALOS. 



Photo, Braun, Clement 

LOUVRE, PARIS 




LAURA DIANTI AND ALFONSO 
OF FERARA 



LOUVRE, PARIS 




ADMIRAL GIOVANNI MORO 



Photo, Hanfit'dngl 

ROYAL GALLERY, BERLIN 




PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN 



Photo, Han/itiingi 

ROYAL GALLERY, BERLIN 




LADY IN A RED DRESS 



Photo, Bruckmann 

ROYAL GALLERY, BERLIN 




THE TRIBUTE MONEY 



Photo, Hanfstlin^l 

ROYAL GALLERY, DRESDEN 




VANITY 



Photo, Hanfstangl 

PINAKOTHEK, MUNICH 




A LANDSCAPE WITH CATTLE 



Photo, Hanfstangl 

BUCKINGHAM PALACE 




BACCHUS AND ARIADNE 



Photo, Hanfstangl 

NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON 




BACCHUS AND ARIADNE (Detail) 



Photo, Hanfstanol 

NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON 




BACCHUS AND ARIADNE 



Photo, Hanfstlingl 

NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON 







PORTRAIT OF ARIOSTO 



Photo, Han fitting! 

NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON 



-'4 




NOLI ME TANGERE 



Photo, Hanfstangl 

NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON 



26 




-7 




VIRGIN IN GLORY 



Photo, Anderson 

S. DOMENICO, ANCONA 



28 




ST. SEBASTIAN 



SS. NAZARO E CELSO, BRESCIA 



2 9 




THE MAGDALEN 



Phtito, Anderson 

PITTI GALLERY, FLORENCE 




LA BELLA 



Photo, Anderson 

PITTI GALLERY, FLORENCE 




PORTRAIT OF A MAN 



Photo, jlndersm 

PITTI GALLERY, FLORENCE 




CARDINAL IPPOL1TO DE MEDICI 



Photo, Hanfstang. 

PITTI GALLERY, FLORENCE 



33 




SKETCH FOR 'THE BATTLE OF CADORE 



fhcto, Brogi 

UFFIZI GALLERY, FLORENCE 



34 




ELEANORA GONZAGA, DUCHESS OF 
URBINO 



Photo t Anderson 

UFFIZI GALLERY, FLORENCE 




FRANCESCO MARIA DELLA ROVERE, 
DUKE OF URBINO 



Photo, Hanfstangl 

UFFIZI GALLERY, FLORENCE 



37 





FLORA 



Photo, Anderson 

UFFIZI GALLERY, FLORENCE 



39 




CATERINA CORNARO 



Photo, Alinari 

UFFIZI GALLERY, FLORENCE 




DEATH OF ST. ANTHONY 



Photo, Anderson 

SCUOLA DEL SANTO, PADUA 



4> 











SACRED AND PROFANE LOVE (Detail) 



Photo, Alinari 

BORGHESE GALLERY, ROME 



43 




SACRED AND PROFANE LOVE (Detail) 



Photo, Anderson 

BORGHESE GALLERY, ROME 



44 




THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST 



Fhc.'o, Anderson 

CAPITOLINE GALLERY, ROME 



45 




THE DAUGHTER OF HEROD1AS WITH 
THE HEAD OF JOHN THE BAPTIST 



Phcto, Anderson 

DORIA PALACE, ROME 



4 6 





VANITY 



Pnoto, sinatrson 

ROSPIGLIOSI PALACE, ROME 



4 8 




THE MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SAINTS 



Photo, Andtrson 

VATICAN, ROME 



49 




THE ANNUNCIATION 



Photo, Alinari 

CATHEDRAL, TREVISO 



5 




THE ASSUMPTION 



Photo, Andtrnn 

ACADEMY, VENICE 



53 




THE ASSUMPTION (Detail) 



Photo, Anderson 

ACADEMY, VENICE 



54 




55 




ST. CHRISTOPHER 



Photo, Anderson 

DUCAL PALACE, VENICE 



57 




THE PESARO MADONNA (Detail) 



Photo, Anderson 

S. MARIA DEI FRARI, VENICE 




DEATH OF PETER MARTYR 



Photo, Nay a 

CHURCH OF ST. JOHN AND ST. PAUL, VENICE 




ST. MARK AND FOUR SAINTS 



S. MARIA DELLA SALUTE, VENICE 



Go 




CHARLES V. AND HIS DOG 



Photo, Braun, Clemtnt 

PRADO, MADRID 



bl 




A BACCHANAL 



Photo, Braun, Clerrent 

PRADO, MADRID 



62 




SACRIFICE TO THE GODDESS 
OF FESTIVITY AND LOVE 



Photc, Braun, Clement 

PRADO, MADRID 




ALFONSO D'ESTE 



Photo, Braun, Clement 

PRADO, MADRID 




DOGE GRIMANI 



Photo, Dixcn 

COLLECTION OF MME. DE ROSENBURG 



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