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Special Report

Titian at Museo del Prado



Man with a Glove





The Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence





Venus of Urbino



 

The Museo del Prado opened on June 11, 2003, TIZIANO, the most extensive exhibition devoted to the artist’s work since the one held in Venice in 1935, and the first monographic exhibition devoted to his work in Spain. Featuring a total of 65 works, it includes more than 30 paintings that have never previously been seen in Spain, such as the Venus of Urbino, which will be shown outside Italy for the first time in its history.

MADRID, SPAIN.- Between 1508 and 1510, the years when he produced his first works, and his death in 1576, Titian created one of the greatest oeuvres in western art, was the most acclaimed painter of his day and the protagonist of a type of painting that emphasised colour as its main expressive value in a way that would have enormous consequences for the art of the future. The Museo del Prado has the finest collection of works by the artist as a result of his unique relationship with the Spanish monarchy. It has now organised this monographic exhibition, one of the most complete ever to be devoted to the artist, comprising 65 paintings organised into five sections. These include the Venus of Urbino (Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi), Salomé (Rome, Galleria Doria Pamphili), La Schiavona (London, The National Gallery), Man with a Glove (Paris, Musée du Louvre), Tarquin and Lucretia (Cambridge, The Fitzwilliam Museum), The Flaying of Marsyas (Kromeriz, Archbishop’s Palace), as well as the masterpieces by the artist in the Museo del Prado’s permanent collection. Giovanni Bellini’s Feast of the Gods (Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art), which formed part of the spectacular group of mythologies that Titian painted for the Camerino d’Alabastro in the Ducal palace in Ferrara, will be one of the highlights of the exhibition.

The close relationship between Titian and the paintings that make up the Museo del Prado’s collection is the direct result of his favoured status with the Spanish monarchy. This means that at the same time that the exhibition is taking place, the Museum also offers the visitor the opportunity to see works by the two greatest heirs to the tradition of the artist: Rubens and Velázquez, a privilege that no other museum can offer.

The exhibition curator, Miguel Falomir, Head of Department of Italian Renaissance Painting at the Museo del Prado, has devised an exhibition which combines a chronological arrangement (allowing for an analysis of Titian’s stylistic development and his use of innovative narrative techniques) with sections devoted to his working practices.

The arrangement of the exhibition

- Origins (up to 1516). This first section covers Titian’s earliest works and looks at his relationship with Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione and Sebastiano del Piombo, as well as the process by which he forged his own style.

- Apelles reborn (1516-1533). Giovanni Bellini died in 1516, making Titian the leading painter in Venice. He also made his first contacts with Alfonso d’Este, Duke of Ferrara, resulting in the growth of his reptutation outside Venice. This process culminated in 1533 when Titian was knighted by Charles V. This section looks in detail at the Camerino d’Alabastro, the most important mythological cycle painted in the first half of the 16th century. Giovanni Bellini’s contribution to that cycle, the Feast of the Gods (Washington, National Gallery of Art), with its landscape repainted by Titian, will be exhibited for the first time in Spain.

- From Bologna to Augsburg (1533-1551). These two decades saw Titian’s lengthiest periods outside of Venice. In 1546-47 the artist went to Rome and worked for Pope Paul III, while in 1548 and 1551 he was summoned to Augsburg by Charles V. For these patrons he produced such mayor works as The Glory (Madrid, Museo del Prado). This section will emphasise the artist’s innovations in the field of portraiture, a genre that particularly contributed to his international reputation, as well as his attitude to other great contemporaries such as Michelangelo. It also looks at Titian’s response to the arrival in Venice of Mannerists such as Salviati and Vasari in the 1540s.

- The Reclining Nude and the “poesie”. Around 1551, Titian and Philip II must have discussed the project of the “poesie” in Augsburg. These were six mythological paintings intended to delight the senses, and which Titian would deliver to the Spanish king between 1553 and 1562. In addition, these work express various key concepts in Venetian art theory, such as the primacy of colour over design. This section, the only one in the exhibition that is not organised in a strictly chronological sense, includes other works, in particular the Venus of Urbino, which illustrate Titian’s key contribution to the reclining female nude.

- Late Titian (1554-1576). One of the largest sections in the exhibition along with the third one. It looks at the profound transformation which Titian’s painting underwent from the early 1550s, evident in formal aspects of his style, such as the use of a more subdued palette and an increasingly fluid brushstroke, as well as the emotional aspect, resulting in ever more expressive and dramatically intense works. 

The Catalogue

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue written by leading European and American specialists, including: Charles Hope (Director of the Warburg Institute, London); Fernando Marías (Professor of the Universidad Autónoma, Madrid), Paul Hills (Professor of the Royal College of Art, London); Jennifer Fletcher (Professor of the Courthald Institute, London); Carmen Garrido (Head of the Technical Documentation Department at the Museo del Prado); David Rosand (Professor at Columbia University, New York); and the exhibition curator, Miguel Falomir, Head of Department of Italian Renaissance Painting at the Museo del Prado. Among its aims is to make available to scholars the results of recent research and investigation carried out at the Museo del Prado, including the restoration of fourteen paintings by the artist, such as the Gloria and Charles V at Mühlberg.      

EXHIBITS LIST

Arrangement of the exhibition

1. Origins (up to 1516)

The Virgen and Child (“The Gipsy Madonna”)
Oil on panel, 65.8 x 83.8 cm
 c. 1511
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum

The Virgin and Child between Saints Anthony of Padua and Roch
Oil on canvas, 92 x 133 cm
c. 1511
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 288

The Holy Family with a Shepherd
Oil on canvas, 106.4 x 143 cm
c. 1510
London, The National Gallery, nº 4

Jacopo Pesaro being presented by Pope Alexander VI to Saint Peter
Oil on canvas, 145.5 x 183.5 cm
c. 1506-1511
Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, nº 357

Noli me tangere
Oil on canvas, 110.5 x 91.9 cm
c. 1514
London, The National Gallery, nº 270 

“La Schiavona”
Oil on canvas, 119.2 x 100.4 cm
c. 1510-1512
London, The National Gallery, nº 1944  

2. Apelles reborn (1516-1533)

The Virgin and Child with Saints Dorothy and George
Oil on panel, 86 x 130 cm
c. 1515-1520
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 434

Salome
Oil on canvas, 90 x 72 cm
c. 1515-1516
Rome, Galleria Doria-Pamphilj
 
“The Bravo”
Oil on canvas, 75 x 67 cm
c. 1516-1517
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum

Man with a Glove
Oil on canvas, 100 x 89 cm
c. 1523
Paris, Musée du Louvre
 
The Worship of Venus
Oil on canvas, 172 x 175 cm
1518-1519
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 419
 
The Bacchanal of the Andrians
Oil on canvas, 175 x 193 cm
1523-1526
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 418

The Feast of the Gods
Giovanni Bellini
Oil on canvas, 170.2 x 188 cm
1514-1529
Washington D.C:, National Gallery of Art, Widener Collection 1942.9.1.

Federigo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua
Oil on panel, 125 x 99 cm
1529
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 408

Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine and a Shepherd (“The Madonna of the Rabbit”)
Oil on canvas, 71 x 87 cm
1530
Paris, Musée du Louvre
 
The Virgin and Child with the Infant Saint John and a Female Saint or Donor (“The Aldobrandini Madonna”)
Oil on canvas, 102.4 x 143.7 cm
c. 1532
London, The National Gallery, nº 1944  
 
Saint John the Baptist
Oil on canvas, 201 x 134 cm
c. 1531-1532 (*)
Venice, Galleria dell’Accademia di Belle Arti, nº 194

Charles V with a Hound
Oil on canvas, 192 x 111 cm
1533
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 409

3. From Bologna to Augsburg (1533-1551)
 
The Allocution of Alfonso d’Avalos, Marchese del Vasto to his Troops
Oil on canvas, 223 x 165 cm
1540-1541
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 417

Portrait of Clarissa Strozzi
Oil on canvas, 115 x 98 cm
c. 1542
Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie
 
Ranuccio Farnese
 Oil on canvas, 89.7 x 73.6 cm
1542
Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art

Paul III
Oil on canvas, 113.7 x 88.8 cm
1543
Naples, Museo Nazionali di Capodimonte, inv. n. 130
 
The Vendramin Family venerating a Relic of the True Cross
Oil on canvas, 206.1 x 288.5 cm
c. 1540-1545
London, The National Gallery
 
Daniele Barbaro
Oil on canvas, 81 x 69 cm
1545
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 414

Pietro Aretino
Oil on canvas, 108 x 76 cm
1545
Florence, Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti)
 
Gentleman with a clock
Oil on canvas, 122 x 101 cm
c. 1550
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 412

Portrait of a Patrician Woman and her Daughter
Oil on canvas, 88 x 79 cm
c. 1550
Private Collection

Isabella of Portugal
Oil on canvas, 117 x 98 cm
1548
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 415
 
Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg
Oil on canvas, 332 x 279 cm
1548
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 410

Tityus
Oil on canvas, 253 x 217 cm
1548-1549
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 426
 
Sisyphus
Oil on canvas, 237 x 216 cm
1548-1549
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 427

Philip II
Oil on canvas, 193 x 111 cm
1551
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 411
The Glory
Oil on canvas, 346 x 240 cm
1551-1554
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 432
 
Ecce-Homo
Oil on slate, 69 x 56 cm
1546(*)
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 437
 
The Virgin Dolorosa with her Hands Apart
Oil on marble, 68 x 53 cm
1555
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 444

The Virgin Dolorosa with her Hands Clasped
Oil on panel, 68 x 61 cm
1554
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 443

4. The Reclining Nude and the “poesie”.

Venus of Urbino
Oil on canvas, 119 x 165 cm
1538
Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi

Danaë
Oil on canvas, 120 x 172 cm
1544-1546
Naples, Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, inv. S. 83971

Danaë
Oil on canvas, 129 x 180 cm
1554
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 415

Venus and Adonis
Oil on canvas, 186 x 207 cm
1554
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 422

Venus Blindfolding Cupid
Oil on canvas, 118 x 185 cm
c. 1560-1565
Rome, Galleria Borghese

Venus with an Organist and a Dog
Oil on canvas, 136 x 220 cm
c. 1550
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 420
 
Venus with an Organist and Cupid
Oil on canvas, 148 x  217 cm
c. 1555
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 421

5. Late Titian

Self-portrait
Oil on canvas, 86 x 65 cm
c. 1562
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 407

Salome
Oil on canvas, 87 x 80 cm
c. 1555
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 428

Francesco Venier
Oil on canvas, 113 x 99 cm
1555
Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Adam and Eve
Oil on canvas, 240 x 186 cm
c. 1550
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 429

The Entombment
Oil on canvas, 137 x 175 cm
1559
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 440

The Entombment
Oil on canvas, 130 x 168 cm
c.1572
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 441

Christ on the Way to the Calvary
Oil on canvas, 98 x 116 cm
c. 1560
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 439

Christ carrying the Cross
Oil on canvas, 67 x 77 cm
c. 1565
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 438

The Agony in the Garden
Oil on canvas, 176 x 136 cm
1558-1562
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 436
 
Saint Margaret
Oil on canvas, 209 x 183 cm
c. 1555
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 44
 
Saint John the Baptist
Oil on canvas, 185 x 114 cm
c. 1565-1570
Patrimonio Nacional, Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial

The Virgin and Child
Oil on canvas, 124 x 96 cm
c. 1560
Venice, Galleria dell’Accademia, cat. 1359

Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Oil on canvas, 135 x 98 cm
c. 1560
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 447

The Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence
Oil on canvas, 440 x 320 cm
1564-1567
Patrimonio Nacional, Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Iglesia Vieja
 
Tarquin and Lucretia
Oil on canvas, 188.9 x 145 cm
1571
Cambridge, The Fitzwilliam Museum

Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas, 137.5 x 97 cm
c. 1570-1575
Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas, 216 x 175 cm
c. 1575
Patrimonio Nacional, Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial

Philip II offering Infante Don Ferdinand to Heaven
Oil on canvas, 335 x 274 cm
1573-1575
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 431
 
Religion succoured by Spain
Oil on canvas, 168 x 168 cm
1572-1575
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, nº 430
 
The Flaying of Marsyas
Oil on canvas, 220 x 204 cm
Kromeriz, Palace of Kromeriz, Archbishopric Olomouc

Ecce-homo
Oil on canvas, 109.2 x 92.7 cm
c. 1570-1576
Saint Louis (Missouri),  The Saint Louis Art Museum

Ecce-homo
Oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm
c. 1565-1570
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

* Special Thanks to Beatriz Cardereda



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