Saturday, 22 November 2014
What's this Titian?
He was an Italian painter and the most important one of the 16th Century Venetian school.
He was known as "The Sun Amidst Small Stars" (a line from Dante's "Paradiso") because of his mastery of the paintbrush. You can see above his self portrait painted in about 1567.
He was very versatile painting portraits, landscape backgrounds and mythological and religious subjects and was famous for his use of color - no black and white monochromes from good old Titian.
See how the man is gazing at you as if to say "What are you looking at? Do you want a fight?"
By the size of that sleeve, one would be best advised to run away fast before feeling the effect of all those muscles.
Whilst you admire the beautiful brush strokes and the vivid use of colour, I on the other hand, am still trying to work out whose arm in a blue sleeve is on the bottom right trying to steal her bottle of perfume.
Maybe it's the man with the quilted sleeve!
Now when I first started this series of art critiques, the intention was to comment on really weird and unusual works of art out there. And I am very pleased that the series has proved popular amongst my readers, some of whom have suggested paintings for me to research and write about. (More suggestions please).
Someone wrote reecently suggesting I am like Sister Wendy (Wendy Beckett) the art historian who presented a series on art on the BBC in the 1990s.
Whilst I can assure you all that I am not as knowledgeable as Sister Wendy, one thing is for sure; I find it sometimes really confusing as to why certain artists find it necessary to paint totally unrealistic and unusual paintings.
Look at this one for instance, also by Titian, and painted in 1550.
She takes all her clothes off and lies on the bed and calls in one of her minions and asks him to play the piano whilst she spends some "quality time" with her dog.
As you can see, the pianist is somewhat distracted and, because he knows the tune by heart anyway, decides to take a swift look where he shouldn't whilst the lady is occupied with the dog.
The dog notices the naughty peeping Tom and yaps to warn the lady.
Whereupon the lady casually says to the man, "Keep your eyes on your organ please. And whilst you're at it, would you mind drawing the curtains. I don't want the gardener outside to see my behind!"
All that captured in just one painting by the marvellous Titian. Art is such a wonderful thing!