Lives of Titian
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From the publisher
Titian (c. 1488-1576) was recognized very early on as the leading painter of his generation in Venice. Starting in the studio of the aged Giovanni Bellini, Titian, with his contemporary Giorgione, almost immediately started to expand the range of what was possible in painting, converting Bellini's statuesque style into something far more impressionistic and romantic. This restless spirit of innovation and improvisation never left him, and during his long life he experimented with a number of different styles, the brushwork of his last great paintings showing a mysterious poetry that has never been equaled. This volume in the series Lives of the Artists collects the major writings about Titian by his contemporaries and nearcontemporaries. The centerpiece is the biography by Vasari, who as a Florentine found Titian's very Venetian sense of colour and transient forms a challenge to his concept of art as design. The poet Ariosto and sparkling letter writer Aretino had a more nuanced view of their friend's work, and Priscianese's account of a dinner party with Titian, and the contributions by Speroni and Dolce, and the slightly later Tuscan critic Borghini, round out the picture of this hugely thoughtful, intellectual artist, whose paintings remain some of the most sensual and affecting in all of Western art. Mostly unavailable in any form for many years, these writings have been newly edited for this edition. They are introduced by the scholar Carlo Corsato, who places each in its artistic and literary context. Approximately 50 pages of colour illustrations cover the full range of Titian's great oeuvre.