Titian quotes

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Titian

Birthdate: 1488
Date of death: 10. September 1576

Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio , known in English as Titian , was an Italian painter during the Renaissance, considered the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno, . During his lifetime he was often called da Cadore, 'from Cadore', taken from his native region.Recognized by his contemporaries as "The Sun Amidst Small Stars" , Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of colour, exercised a profound influence not only on painters of the late Italian Renaissance, but on future generations of Western art.His career was successful from the start, and he became sought after by patrons, initially from Venice and its possessions, then joined by the north Italian princes, and finally the Habsburgs and papacy. Along with Giorgione, he is considered a founder of the Venetian School of Italian Renaissance painting.

During the course of his long life, Titian's artistic manner changed drastically, but he retained a lifelong interest in colour. Although his mature works may not contain the vivid, luminous tints of his early pieces, their loose brushwork and subtlety of tone were without precedent in the history of Western painting. Wikipedia

„Most high and important Signor, Having recently obtained a 'Queen of Persia' of some quality, which I thought worthy of appearing before your Highness' [= Prince Philip II] exalted presence, I had her sent, pending the time when other works of mine were drying, to take embassies from me to your Highness, and be company to the landscape and [a] St. Margaret, previously sent by Ambassador [Fransesco] Vargas.... Most high and potent Signor's servant, who kisses your feet, Titiano Vecellio.“

—  Titian

In a letter to Philip II, then still Prince of Spain, sent from Venice 11th Oct. 1552; as quoted in Titian: his life and times - With some account of his family... Vol. 2. J. A. Crowe & G.B. Cavalcaselle, Publisher London, John Murray, 1877, p. 218
For the first time in the annals of Italian painting history we are informed by this letter about a painting which is nothing more than a landscape! According to reports of visitors [for instance Aurelio Luini ] of Titian's studio, he very probably painted more landscapes, but all of them are perished.
1541-1576

„Your Ceasarean Majesty, I consigned to senõr Don Diego di Mendoza, the two portraits of the most serene Empress [ Isabella ], in which I have used all the diligence of which I was capable. I should have liked to take them to your Majesty in person, but that my age and the length of the journey forbade such a course. I beg your Majesty to send me words of the faults or failings which I may have made, and return the pictures that I may correct them. Your Majesty may not permit anyone else to lay hand on them.... Your Majesty’s most humble and constant servant, Titiano.“

—  Titian

In a letter to Emperor Charles V, from Venice, 5 Oct, 1544; copied in the 'Archives of Simancas' by Mr. Bergenroth; as quoted by J.A.Y. Crowe & G.B. Cavalcaselle in Titian his life and times - With some account... Volume II, publisher John Murray, London, 1877, p. 103
This letter is written by Titian himself - free from the polite style of his secretary/friend Arentino; he is telling the Emperor that he had finished two portraits of the Empress Isabella, he painted after her death after a probably Flemish original. The two portraits were sent to the court in Brussels.
1541-1576
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titian#/media/File:Isabella_of_Portugal_by_Titian.jpg

„.. I also send the picture of the 'Trinity' [also called La Gloria].... in my wish to satisfy your C. M. [Caesarean Majesty] I have not spared myself the pains of striking out two or three times the work of many days to bring it to perfection and satisfy myself, whereby more time was wasted than I usually take to do such things.... the portrait of Signor Vargas [agent of Charles V, who was paying Titian for his works] introduced into the work [very probably in the 'La Gloria' / 'Trinity'] was done at his request. If it should not please your C. M. any painter can, with a couple of [brush] strokes, convert it into another person.“

—  Titian

In a letter from Venice to the Spanish emperor Charles V in Bruxelles, 10 Sept. 1554; original in the 'Appendix' of Titian: his life and times - With some account of his family... Vol. 2., J. A. Crowe & G.B. Cavalcaselle, Publisher London, John Murray, 1877, p. 231-232
Titian is announcing in his letter the completion and the delivery of the paintings 'Trinity' and 'Addolorata' and probably a third painting 'Christ appearing to the Magdalen', for Mary of Hungary
1541-1576

„I, Titian of Cadore, having studied painting from childhood upwards, and desirous of fame rather than profit, wish to serve the Doge and Signori, rather than his Highness the Pope and other Signori, who in past days, and even now, have urgently asked to employ me: I am therefore anxious, if it should appear feasible, to paint in the Hall of Council, beginning, if it please their sublimity, with the canvas of 'The Battle' on the side towards the Piazza, which is so difficult that no one as yet has had courage to attempt it…“

—  Titian

Quote from a petition presented by Titian, and read on the 31st of May, 1513, before the Council of ten of Venice; as quoted by J.A.Y. Crowe & G.B. Cavalcaselle in Titian his life and times - With some account..., publisher John Murray, London, 1877, p. 153-154
The chiefs of the Council on the day in question accepted Titian's offer. Sharp monitions reminded him in 1518, 1522 and 1537 that he should complete 'The Battle', he did not until 1539
1510-1540
Source: http://www.everypainterpaintshimself.com/article/titians_battle_of_cadore_1538-9

„I should be acting the part of an ungrateful servant, unworthy of the favours which unite my duty to your great kindness, if I were not to say that his Majesty [ Charles V ] forced me to go to him and pays the expenses of my journey, I start discontented because I have not fulfilled your wish and my obligation in presenting myself to my Lord [ Pope Paul III ] and yours, and working in obedience to his intentions [to paint the Pope's portrait].... But I promise as a true servant to pay interest on my return with a new picture in addition to the first.... So with your license, Padron mio unico, I shall go, whither I am called, and returning with the grace of God, I shall serve you with all the strength of the talents which I got from my cradle..“

—  Titian

In a letter to Cardinal Farnese in Rome, from Venice 24th December 1547; after the original in Rochini's 'Belazione' u.s. pp. 9-10; as quoted in Titian: his life and times - With some account of his family... Vol. 2., J. A. Crowe & G.B. Cavalcaselle, Publisher London, John Murray, 1877, pp. 164-165
Titian had to chose between Pope & Emperor when they were on the worst of terms; he decided to obey the Emperor Charles V who ordered Titian to come to his court at Augsburg, Germany
1541-1576

„I have been expecting the bull of the benefice of Medole which your Excellency gave me for my son Pomponio last year, and seeing that the matter is delayed beyond measure, and what is worse, that I have not received the income of the benefice — I find myself in a state of great discontent. It would be greatly to my dishonour and infamy, if my boy should be forced to change the priest's dress, which he wears with so much pleasure, after all Venice has been made acquainted with the gift made to him of this benefice by your Excellency.“

—  Titian

In a letter of Titian to the Marquess Gonzaga of Mantua, from Venice, 12 July, 1531; published by Pungileoni in the 'Giornale Arcadico' in 1831 and reprinted in Cadorin, 'Dello Amore', p. 37; transl. J.A.Y. Crowe & G.B. Cavalcaselle
The gift made it possible that his son Pomponio could start a career in the catholic church. A fortnight later Titian's note has become humble and thankful, for the Duke has written him, to say that the benefice and its income are his
1510-1540

„[I wish]to engrave and distribute [the prints] for the benefit and knowledge and use of painters and sculptors and other knowledge-able persons.“

—  Titian

official document, 1567; as quoted by Bruce Kohl in Titian and Venetian Painting, 1450-1590; publishers Westview Press, 1999, p. 117
In 1567 Titian applied to the Venetian senate for a fifteen-year copyright privilege for engravings, made after his work. The Dutch artist Cornelis Cort produced prints after Titian's work, all made in collaboration, in 1555-56 and 1571-72
1541-1576

„It is not bright colors but good drawing that makes figures beautiful.“

—  Titian

As quoted in The Quotable Artist (2002) by Peggy Hadden, p. 32.
undated quotes

„Illustrious Lord, hearing that your Excellency has gone to the court of his Imperial Majesty [Charles V], I abstain from coming to Mantua, sighing at my bad fortune in not having left Bologna soon enough to meet your Grace. At Venice I shall prepare the copy of the portrait of his Majesty, which I take home with me at your Excellency's bidding.“

—  Titian

In a letter to the Duke of Mantua, from Bologna, 10 March 1533; as quoted by J.A.Y. Crowe & G.B. Cavalcaselle in Titian his life and times - With some account..., publisher John Murray, London, 1877, p. 370
The portrait which Titian took home and repeated a second time he doubtless sent to Charles V. The replica was not sent to Mantua till after 1536, but there it appears to have remained. Another example besides that of the Madrid Museum came into the hands of Charles the First of England.
1510-1540
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Titian#/media/File:Tizian_081.jpg
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Titian#/media/File:Tizian_081.jpg

„Most serene and Powerful King [Ferdinand], most Clement Lord,... The portraits of the serene daughters of your Majesty will be done in two days, and I shall take them to Venice, whence – having finished them with all diligence – I shall send them quickly to your Majesty. As soon as your Majesty has seen them, I am convinced I shall receive much greater favours than those which have been previously done me, and so I recommend myself humbly to your Majesty.“

—  Titian

Your Majesty's faithful servant, Titiano.
In a letter to King Ferdinand, from Innsbruck, 20th Oct 1548; original in the 'Appendix' in Titian: his life and times - With some account of his family... Vol. 2., J. A. Crowe & G.B. Cavalcaselle, Publisher London, John Murray, 1877, p. 189
The king's daughters were nine and five years old, and a young baby in long clothes; the preparatory work of the paintings was probably done by Cesare Vecelli. Titian's share in these portraits was very slight; he added only a very little to the heads
1541-1576

„Not every painter has a gift for painting, in fact, many painters are disappointed when they meet with difficulties in art. Painting done under pressure by artists without the necessary talent can only give rise to formlessness, as painting is a profession that requires peace of mind. The painter must always seek the essence of things, always represent the essential characteristics and emotions of the person he is painting..“

—  Titian

As quoted in The Quotable Artist (2002) by Peggy Hadden, p. 71.
As quoted in The Quotable Artist (2002) by Peggy Hadden, p. 72.
undated quotes
Variant: They who are compelled to paint by force, without being in the necessary mood, can produce only ungainly works, because this profession requires an unruffled temper.

„He who improvises can never make a perfect line of poetry.“

—  Titian

As quoted in A Dictionary of Art and Artists (1959) by Peter Murray and Linda Murray, p. 321.
undated quotes

„[I] purposely avoided the styles of Raphael and Michaelangelo because I was ambitious of higher distinction than that of a clever imitator.“

—  Titian

Titian's remark to Francesco Vargas, the Spanish envoy, c. 1545; in Vicus, De studiorum ratione, u. s. p. 109; as quoted by J.A.Y. Crowe & G.B. Cavalcaselle in Titian his life and times - With some account..., publisher John Murray, London, 1877, p. 115
1541-1576

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