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October edition of The Burlington Magazine features discovery of an unknown painting by Titian
Risen Christ, by Titian. c.1511. Canvas, 144 by 116.5 cm. (Private Collection).

LONDON.- The Burlington Magazine announced the publication, in its October issue, of The Risen Christ, a previously unknown work by the great Venetian artist Titian. The painting (oil on canvas, 144 cm. high by 116.5 cm. wide) shows Christ in majesty, triumphing over death, standing on the tomb from which he has risen and silhouetted against a vivid, cloudy sky lit by the morning sun of the Easter day. The author of the article, Artur Rosenauer, Emeritus Professor at University of Vienna, describes Titian’s use of brilliant colour and consummate command of composition at this early phase of his career. He dates the picture to around 1511 and relates it to other works by the artist from the same period. According to Rosenauer it may have been painted for a confraternity devoted to the Holy Sacrament.

Standing on the lid of his sealed tomb, the monumental figure of Christ is presented to the viewer in an attitude of ‘heroica maestà’. His left hand holds the flag of the resurrection, while his right arm is raised in triumphant blessing. The definition of the cliff-face behind him and to the left is obscured by darkened tones, in striking contrast to the brilliantly lit cloudy sky on the right. As with almost all such resurrection figures from the early sixteenth century, the white shroud generously envelops Christ’s body. Here it is stretched tautly over the shoulder and then billows out from beneath the lower left arm to spread around the figure like a curtain. Its bluish shadowing is in marked contrast to the sky, where the colours range from yellow to the heavy grey of the clouds. The torso is presented in heroic nudity recalling representations of Roman emperors. The left leg is also uncovered, while the right leg is largely concealed, its foot emerging from the drapery and, unlike the left foot, appearing in profile. The white loincloth is distinguished from the shroud by its shading: whereas the shadowed regions of the shroud tend towards blue, those of the loincloth are rendered in a light grey.

Titian, who died at a great age, probably in his late eighties in 1576, was the outstanding Venetian painter of his time.

Other discoveries in the October issue include: Van Gogh, Reni and Ribera

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