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Distributed for Reaktion Books


And the End of the Venetian Renaissance

Distributed for Reaktion Books


And the End of the Venetian Renaissance

Titian is best known for paintings that embodied the tradition of the Venetian Renaissance—but how Venetian was the artist himself? In this study, Tom Nichols probes the tensions between the individualism of Titian’s work and the conservative mores of the city, showing how his art undermined the traditional self-suppressing approach to painting in Venice and reflected his engagement with the individualistic cultures emerging in the courts of early modern Europe.
            Ranging widely across Titian’s long career and varied works, Titian and the End of the Venetian Renaissance outlines his radical innovations to the traditional Venetian altarpiece; his transformation of portraits into artistic creations; and his meteoric breakout from the confines of artistic culture in Venice. Nichols explores how Titian challenged the city’s communal values with his competitive professional identity, contending that his intensely personalized way of painting resulted in a departure that effectively brought an end to the Renaissance tradition of painting. Packed with 170 illustrations, this groundbreaking book will change the way people look at Titian and Venetian art history.

336 pages | 100 color plates, 70 halftones | 8 1/4 x 11 | © 2013

Art: Art--General Studies, European Art

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“Nichols’s book offers the kind of free-flowing and deeply intelligent analysis of a painter’s career that can only be produced after long study and intimate familiarity with his subject. It is beautifully written and generously illustrated, and you feel both Nichols’s and Titian’s minds working at every turn.”

Renaissance and Reformation Studies

“Provocative. . . . nicely illustrated and well-produced. . . . It offers a challenging alternative view of one of the most important artists of the Italian Renaissance. Recommended.”


Table of Contents


Titian’s Last Painting: The Sight of Death

An Inglorious Passing; or, The Difficult Case of the Pietà

How ‘Venetian’ was Titian?

Surrogate Monuments to the Leader of a Tradition

ONE: Art as Appropriation: The Rise of Titian

Giovanni Bellini: The Model Venetian

Bellini and Titian: Master and Pupil

Titian and the Venetian Istoria

Titian and Giorgione

Giorgione and Titian’s Early Portraiture

The Early Mythologies

Titian Repaints Palma Vecchio

TWO: Remaking Tradition: Icons and Altarpieces

Anachronic Titian

The Modern Icon

The Cultural Dynamics of Space in Two Altarpieces for Venice

Private Values in a Public Picture Type

Altarpiece or Artwork?

THREE: Portraiture and Non-venezianità

Portraiture in Renaissance Venice

Titian’s Portraits to 1530: Accommodation of the Courts

Habsburg and Related Portraits of the 1530s

Historical Portraits

Natura Potentior Ars

FOUR: Sacred Painting, the Poesie and the Late Style

Titian as Tradition

Titian’s Hybrid Poesie

Two Late Mythologies

Early Responses to Titian’s Late Style

The Late Style in Critical and Historical Perspective

FIVE: Titian and Venice: Surviving the Father of Art

Patrons and Prices

Titian versus the Rest: A Literary Self-image

Pictor et eques: Titian’s Self-portraits

Images of Succession

Images of Attachment

The Darker Side of Titian; or, The Anti-image

Venetian Responses to Titian: Veronese and Tintoretto


Titian and the End of the Venetian Renaissance

Titian in Disguise




Photo Acknowledgements


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