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date: 29 September 2023

Titian or Tiziano; real name: Tiziano Vecelli or Vecelliofree

Titian or Tiziano; real name: Tiziano Vecelli or Vecelliofree

Updated in this version

updated 28 May 2015; updated and revised 09 July 2012

Italian, 16th century, male.

Born 1480 or 1485, in Pieve di Cadore; died 27 August 1576, in Venice.

Painter, fresco artist, engraver, woodcut designer, draughtsman. Historical subjects, religious subjects, mythological subjects, portraits. Murals.

Venetian School.

TITIAN: signature or monogram

TITIAN: signature or monogram

TITIAN: signature or monogram

TITIAN: signature or monogram

TITIAN: signature or monogram

TITIAN: signature or monogram

TITIAN: signature or monogram

Titian was one of four children born to the impoverished nobleman Gregorio di Conte Vecelli. As a young man, he was destined for the law or the army, like his brother Francesco, but his artistic ability decided matters differently. He was placed, probably around the age of 10, with Sebastiano Zuccato, a mosaicist and painter, although he did not remain with him long. He may have also studied briefly with both Gentile Bellini and his brother Giovanni Bellini, leading painters of Venice. It was during this period that Giorgione helped bring about pivotal developments in Venetian painting, and Titian went to train under him around 1505.

Giorgione and his pupil appear to have worked closely together, and the dates of their collaboration have led scholars to establish Titian’s year of birth as 1485 or 1488. He married in 1525, but his wife, Cecilia, died in 1530, leaving him with four children. The first, Pomponio, became a priest; the second, Orazio, was a painter; one of his daughters died while still young and the other, Lavinia, was immortalised by her father in numerous portraits and paintings in which she plays a principal role. One of Titian’s sisters took over care of the children, and in 1531, one year after his wife’s death, Titian left his lodgings in the S Samuele area of Venice for a larger dwelling with a garden at Biri, in the north-east of the city, and it was there that his children grew up.

Frequent visitors to the house included the architect Jacopo Sansovino and the poet Pietro Aretino – who, with Titian, formed a powerful ‘triumvirate’ in Venice – as well as Jacopo Nardi, the Florentine historian. Titian was prolific and worked continuously throughout his life. In 1566, when Giorgio Vasari came to award him with the title of honorary member of the guild of Florentine painters, he found him at his easel, driving his apprentices to the point of exhaustion. Titian travelled a great deal throughout his career and was received, honoured, and rewarded by court after court and enjoyed a life of luxury. Titian was struck by the plague and died in 1576 at about the age of 90. In spite of the law prohibiting plague victims from being buried in churches, Titian was entombed in the church of S Maria dei Frari, for which he had painted two altarpieces.

Much of Titian’s early work is fragmentary or was done in collaboration with Giorgione. In 1507 and 1508, he worked as Giorgione’s assistant on the decoration of the German merchants’ warehouse (Fondaco dei Tedeschi), which had just been rebuilt. Above the doorway, Titian painted a large fresco of a seated woman believed by some historians to represent an allegory of Judith, Justice, or Germania, although the subject is not certain. Only a few indecipherable traces of the work remain, but its appearance is known through Anton Maria Zanetti’s engravings. Around this time he also painted frescoes to decorate the façades of noble houses, which have not survived the damp Venetian environment. Francesco Sansovino mentions a Hercules he painted at the Palazzo Morosicci. Following Giorgione’s death in 1510, Titian completed his Sleeping Venus, and some scholars have split the attribution of the celebrated Concert Champêtre between the two painters or given it solely to one or the other. The continuing dispute confirms the aesthetic bond that linked the teacher and his young pupil.

In 1510, perhaps as a result of political problems, Titian left Venice for Padua. In the three frescoes showing the Miracles of St Anthony of Padua at the Scuola del Santo, which date from 1511, Titian broke free from the influence of Giorgione and began to establish his own narrative and compositional style. In 1513, after his return to Venice, he painted the allegorical picture now called Sacred and Profane Love. Various interpretations of the painting have been proposed, but because of certain symbolic elements and the bridal garments of the woman on the left, it was probably made to commemorate a marriage. By that time Titian’s reputation was sufficiently established for him to write to the Doge and the Great Council of Venice requesting to paint the Battle of Cadore for the cycle of scenes from Venetian history in the Sala del Maggior Consiglio (the great council hall in the Doge’s Palace). His request was granted, but he did not begin the work until the 1520s, when the council threatened to give the commission to another painter because Titian had neglected the project. The painting was destroyed by fire in 1577 and is known only through drawings and engravings. After Giovanni Bellini’s death in 1516, Titian became the most esteemed painter in the city.

Alfonso d’Este, duke of Ferrara, summoned Titian and two assistants to his court in February 1516. It was during his time at the duke’s court that Titian became friends with the poet Ludovico Ariosto. Between 1516 and 1523, he executed many works for the Ferrara court, including Flora and painted portraits of the duke, his wife, Lucrezia Borgia, and his mistress, Laura Dianti; all these portraits have disappeared but are known from old copies. According to tradition Laura Dianti appears again in the painting Woman at Her Toilette (Louvre). For the duke’s study (Camerino dell’Alabastro), Titian painted the Worship of Venus, Bacchanal of the Andrians, and Bacchus and Ariadne (1523) and completed Bellini’s Feast of the Gods. During this period, Titian made several trips to Venice and to other towns and cities and painted the Assumption and the Pesaro Madonna for the church of S Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. He is known to have been in Ancona in 1520 painting a Crucifixion, an altarpiece for the church of S Domenico, and The Virgin in Glory with St Francis, St Alvise and the Donor for the church of S Francesco; in 1520, he painted an Annunciation for Treviso Cathedral; at Brescia in 1522, he executed an altar polyptych showing The Resurrection at the church of SS Nazzaro e Celso; and at the Doge’s Palace in Venice, he painted a St Christopher, dated 1523. For the Mantuan court, he painted an Entombment (Louvre) in the mid-1520s.

From this point, Titian’s career was marked by continuous success, and he secured commissions from numerous courtly patrons of the highest echelons of European society. After the duke of Ferrara, the marchese and later duke of Mantua, Federico Gonzaga II, became his patron around 1530, Titian painted for him the Madonna of the Rabbit, 11 half-length portraits of Roman emperors (destroyed), and a portrait of his wife, Isabella d’Este. In the early 1530s, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, became a patron. Vasari relates that Titian went to join the emperor in Bologna after his coronation and executed a portrait of him in armour. Such a portrait is preserved in the Prado, but it may date to a later encounter. Titian enjoyed unquestionable success at the imperial court. He was made Count Palatine and Knight of the Golden Spur; he also received various privileges and allowances and on several occasions was summoned back by Charles V and later by King Philip II of Spain. Noblemen and dignitaries commissioned him to paint their portraits, and it is generally accepted that Titian was the most sought-after portraitist of his day.

In 1538, Titian was in Urbino, where he painted portraits of the Della Rovere family and the Venus of Urbino, all of which are now in the Uffizi, Florence. The Venus of Urbino is one of the great masterpieces of Titian’s maturity. While the inspiration clearly continues to derive from Giorgione, there are elements that distinguish it as Titian’s – the obvious sensuality of the female nude, her direct gaze, and the interior setting. Titian animated the nude’s surroundings: a curtain separates the reclining woman from the background scene with servants and view of a garden, and at her feet is a small sleeping dog. During the same period, but in Venice, Titian was painting the Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple for the Scuola della Carità (now the Accademia Gallery). Around 1541, Titian again visited the court of Charles V, then no longer in Bologna but in Milan; soon after he returned to Venice. Titian met Pope Paul III Farnese in Bologna in 1543, although Titian did not in fact go to Rome until 1546. He was received there by the pope and his grandson Cardinal Alessandro Farnese.

In Rome, Titian again encountered Vasari, whom he had first met in Venice; he also met Michelangelo, who was then working for the pope in the Pauline Chapel. Among the works Titian executed in Rome were the Danaë (Naples) and several portraits of the pope and members of his family, including Cardinal Farnese and another grandson Ottavio, duke of Parma. At about the same time, he painted a portrait of his friend, Pietro Aretino (Pitti Palace, Florence), and had no hesitation in revealing the proud, cynical, and impudent nature of his character. In 1547, he is known to have executed an altarpiece for Serravalle Cathedral.

In 1548, Titian was summoned by Charles V to the Diet of Augsburg and executed the celebrated equestrian painting Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg and Charles V Seated (both in the Prado, Madrid). He also painted a portrait of King Ferdinand, the king’s five daughters and two sons, Maria of Hungary, John Frederick and Maurice of Saxony, and two portraits of the royal prince of Spain, who would later become Philip II. When he returned from the Diet of Augsburg in 1550, Titian continued to work for Charles V, painting the Exaltation of the Holy Trinity known as The Gloria (1551–1554), which the emperor took with him, together with the Ecce Homo of 1547 and the Virgin of Sorrows of 1550, to the monastery of Yuste following his abdication. When Philip II came to the Spanish throne, he commissioned Titian to paint portraits, religious subjects, and mythological scenes, including: The Entombment (1559), Martyrdom of St Lawrence (1567), Venus and Adonis (1553), Diana and Callisto (1559), and The Rape of Europa (around 1560), some of which are still in Madrid. During this period, it appears that Titian often returned to subjects he had already painted, such as the Danaë (1554), the Annunciation (1564), and the Entombment (1566), and some of these works were executed by his assistants under his direction. However, his personal output remained considerable: in 1559, Diana and Actaeon; in 1564, four ceilings for the municipal hall of Brescia; in 1565, The Education of Cupid; and in 1571, Tarquin and Lucretia. In 1573, he began a Pietà (finished by Palma Giovane) which is remarkable for its rough painterly texture, a feature of the artist’s late work that some have attributed to his failing eyesight. In 1574, he collaborated with Tintoretto on the city’s decorations in honour of the visit of King Henry III of France to Venice.

Titian is also credited with designs for much-admired prints. The best known of these are large composite woodcuts (printed from several blocks and pieced together), which had precedents in the work of the Venetian Jacopo de’ Barbari and Albrecht Dürer (in Venice 1505–1507). The first of these, according to Vasari, is the Triumph of Christ (1508); several years later, Titian designed the Crossing of the Red Sea, which was popular enough to be reprinted in 1549. It is generally accepted that these were simply executed after drawings by Titian and perhaps under his direction. As a painter, he excelled in many different genres: histories, portraiture, devotional works, mythological and allegorical subjects, and the Venetian ‘poesia’.

Although earlier Venetian art had shown an emphasis on colour, Titian, in no small part because of the length of career and size of his oeuvre, defined Renaissance Venetian ‘colore’ – the emphasis on colour as the defining aesthetic element of painting. According to the medley of anecdotes and facts reported by Vasari, Michelangelo may have praised Titian’s qualities as a colourist, but he also said that ‘Titian would have been a great artist if only he had learned how to draw’ – an assertion that reflects the aesthetic debate (‘paragone’) between Venetian ‘colore’ and the central Italian focus on line and draughtsmanship (‘disegno’). Palma Giovane described Titian at work: ‘He sketched out his paintings by applying masses of colour which served as a bed or foundation for what he wanted to express and on which he later relied. Then, with a touch of white, of white lead, and the same brush then dipped in red, black or yellow, he created pale and dark areas to give the effect of relief.’ This is valuable information about Titian’s method, as it was probably observed firsthand and describes aspects of the artist’s preparatory technique and his method of working up the elements of his composition. Titian’s painterly brushwork and warm palette, as well as his adoption of powerful, dynamic figures from Michelangelo, were influential on succeeding generations of painters – notably El Greco, Paolo Veronese, Jacopo Tintoretto, and Peter Paul Rubens, among countless others.

Group Exhibitions

1976, Titian and the Venetian Woodcut, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Museum of Fine Art, Dallas (TX); Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit (MI)

1976, Drawings by Titian and His Circle (Disegni di Tiziano e della sua Cerchia), Giorgio Cini Foundation, Venice

1981, From Titian to El Greco: The History of Mannerism in Venice 1540–1590 (Da Tiziano a El Greco: Per la Storia del Manierismo a Venezia, 1540–1590), Palazzo Ducale, Venice

1999, Renaissance Venice and the North: Crosscurrents in the Time of Bellini, Dürer, and Titian, Palazzo Grassi, Venice

2006, Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

2008, Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian, National Gallery of Art, London

2009, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

2010–2011, Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (TX); High Museum of Art, Atlanta (GA); Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis (MN)

Solo Exhibitions

1935, The Titian Exhibition (Mostra di Tiziano), Venice

1976, Homage to Titian (Omaggio a Tiziano), Istituto Universitario Olandese, Florence, and Dutch Institute, Paris

1977, Works by Titian in the Galleria Borghese in Rome (Le Opere di Tiziano alla Galleria Borghese di Roma)

1990–1991, Titian, Prince of Painters (Tiziano), Palazzo Ducale, Venice, and National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

2003, Titian, National Gallery, London; Prado, Madrid

Museum and Gallery Holdings

Ajaccio (Mus. Fesch): Portrait of a Young Man

Ancona (Mus. Civico): Virgin and Child Enthroned with St Francis, St Blaise and the Donor Luigi Gozzi

Antwerp (Koninklijk Mus. Voor Shchone Kunsten): Jacopo Pesaro Presented to St Peter by Pope Alexander VI

Ascoli (Pinacoteca Civica): St Francis Receiving the Stigmata

Bergamo (Accademia Carrara): Orpheus and Eurydice;Madonna and Child

Berlin (Gemäldegal.): Portrait of Clarice Strozzi;Venus and Portrait of Clarice Organist and a Dog;Portrait of a Man;Self-portrait;Girl with a Dish of Fruit

Besançon: Portrait of Perrenot de Granvelle

Boston (Isabella Stewart Gardner Mus.): The Rape of Europa

Brescia (SS Nazzaro e Celso): Averoldi Polyptych

Cambridge (Fitzwilliam Mus.): Venus and Cupid with a Lute-player (c. 1550–1565, oil on canvas);Tarquin and Lucretia (c. 1570, oil on canvas)

Copenhagen (Statens Mus. For Kunst): Portrait of a Man;Portrait of a Bearded Man; Portrait of a Man with a Book and a Clock

Detroit, MI (IA): Portrait of Andrea de’ Franceschi; Man with a Flute; Judith

Dresden: Sleeping Venus (with Giorgione); Virgin and Child with Four Saints; Tribute Money;Portrait of Lavinia Vecellio;Young Man with Palm;Portrait of a Girl with a Fan

Dublin: Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione; Ecce Homo

Edinburgh (NG of Scotland): Allegory of the Three Ages of Man; Venus Anadyomene (Venus Rising from the Sea); Sacra Conversazione; Diana and Actaeon; Diana and Callisto

Florence (Palazzo Pitti): Concert; ; La Bella;Portrait of Pietro AretinoPortrait of a Man; Cardinal Ippolito de’Medici; Pope Julius II; The Saviour; Portrait of a Gentleman; Adoration of the Shepherds; Portrait of Tommaso or Vicenzo Mosti; Penitent Magdalen

Florence (Uffizi): Flora; Eleanora Gonzaga della Rovere, Duchess of Urbino; Francesco della Rovere, Duke of Urbino; Venus of Urbino; Portrait of Ludovico Beccadelli; Venus with a Dog, a Cupid, and a Partridge; Portrait of a Knight of Malta; Madonna and Child with Sts John and Anthony Abbot

Fort Worth, TX (Kimbell AM): Madonna and Child with a Female Saint and the Infant St John the Baptist (1530s, oil/panel)

Frankfurt am Main (Städelsches Kunstinstitut): Portrait of a Young Man

Genoa: Portrait of a Man; Philip II

Glasgow (AG and Mus.): A Soldier; Daniel and Susanna

Hampton Court (Palace): Portrait of Jacopo Sannazaro

Kansas City, MO (Nelson-Atkins MA): Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle

Kassel (Gemäldegal.): Portrait of a Captain with a Cupid and a Dog

Kremsier (Archibishop’s Palace): Flaying of Marsyas

London (NG): A Man with a Quilted Sleeve (c. 1510, oil on canvas, formerly Portrait of Ariosto); The Holy Family with a Shepherd (c. 1510, oil on canvas); Portrait of a Lady (La Schiavona) (c. 1510–1512, oil on canvas); Bacchus and Ariadne (1520–1523, oil on canvas); Virgin and Child with Infant St John and St Catherine of Alexandria (Aldobrandini Madonna) (c. 1532, oil on canvas); Vendramin Family, Venerating a Relic of the True Cross (c. 1545, oil on canvas); An Allegory of Time Governed by Prudence (c. 1565–1570, oil on canvas); The Death of Actaeon (1565–1576, oil on canvas); Noli me tangere (c. 1574, oil on canvas); Madonna and Child; Venus and Adonis; Tribute Money

London (Wallace Collection): Perseus and Andromeda (c. 1553–1562, oil on canvas)

Los Angeles (Getty Mus.): Venus and Adonis (c. 1560, oil on canvas)

Madrid (Prado): Virgin and Child with St Anthony of Padua and St Roch; Bacchanal of the Andrians; Offering to Venus; Allocution of Alfonso d’Avalos to His Troops; Charles V Standing; Philip II Offering Don Ferdinand to Victory; Venus and Adonis; Adam and Eve; Equestrian Portrait of Charles V at the Battle of MühlbergDanaë; Venus with an Organist; Venus and Cupid with an Organist; Salome; Adoration of the Trinity (Gloria); Knight with a Clock; Entombment; Sisyphus, Tityus; Ecce Homo; Mater Dolorosa with Raised Hands; Mater Dolorosa with Clasped Hands; Spain Comes to the Aid of Religion; Empress Isabel of Portugal; St Margaret with a Dragon at Her Feet; Christ Carrying the Cross; Agony in the Garden; Self-portrait; Portrait of Federico Gonzaga II; Entombment; Head of Christ (fragment of Noli me tangere); Madonna and Child with Sts Catherine and George

Madrid (Thyssen-Bornemisza): Portrait of Antonio Anselmi; Portrait of Doge Francesco Venier; St Jerome Praying

Milan (Ambrosiana): Portrait of a Warrior; Adoration of the Magi

Milan (Pinacoteca di Brera): Count Antonio Porcia; St Jerome

Munich (Alte Pinakothek): Madonna and Child; Vanity; Portrait of a Young Man; Portrait of Charles V Seated; Virgin and Infant Jesus; Crowning with Thorns

Naples (Mus. di Capodimonte): Danaë; Pietro Bembo; Alessandro Farnese; Pier Luigi Farnese; Pope Paul III and His Nephews Alessandro and Ottavio Farnese; Pope Paul Farnese III; Portrait of a Girl

New Haven, CT (AG, Yale University): The Circumcision

New York (Frick Coll.): Portrait of a Man in a Fur Cap (c. 1510, oil/canvas); Portrait of Pietro Aretino (c. 1537, oil/canvas)

New York (Metropolitan MA): Filippo Archinto, Archbishop of Milan (c. 1555); Madonna and Child; Portrait of a Man; Venus and Cupid with a Lute Player

Padua (Scuola del Santo): Miracle of the Newborn Babe (fresco); Miracle of the Healed Foot (fresco); Miracle of the Jealous Husband (fresco)

Paris (Louvre): Madonna and Child with Saints; Madonna of the Rabbit; Holy Family (two versions); Supper at Emmaus; Christ with the Crown of Thorns; Entombment; St Jerome; Allegory of Marriage; Jupiter and Antiope; Young Woman at Her Toilette; Francis I; Concert Champêtre; Man with a Glove; Portrait of a Man with a Hand on His Belt; Portrait of Alfonso d’Avalos

Rome (Mus. e Gal. Borghese): St Dominic; Sacred and Profane Love; Venus Blindfolding Cupid

Rome (Palazzo Doria Pamphili): Herodias with the Head of St John the Baptist;

St Petersburg (Hermitage): The Flight into Egypt; Christ Bearing of the Cross; Penitent Mary Magdalene; Portrait of a Young Woman

Treviso (Cathedral): Annunciation

Urbino: Resurrection; Last Supper

Vatican (Mus. Vaticani): Madonna and Child in Glory with Sts Catherine, Nicholas, Peter, Anthony of Padua, Francis, and Sebastian; Doge Nicolò Marcello

Venice (Biblioteca Marciana): Wisdom Crowned (ceiling)

Venice (Frari): Pesaro Madonna; Assumption

Venice (Gal. dell’Accademia): Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple; St John the Baptist; Pietà (completed by Palma Giovane); Madonna and Child

Venice (Mus. della Scuola Grande di San Rocco): The Annunciation

Venice (Palazzo Ducale): Doge Antonio Grimani Kneeling before Faith; St Christopher (fresco); Madonna and Child with Two Angels

Venice (S Giovanni Elemosinario): Charity of St John the Almoner

Venice (S Lio): St James of Compostela

Venice (S Maria della Salute): St Mark Enthroned with Sts Cosmas, Damian, Roch, and Sebastian; Cain Killing Abel; Sacrifice of Isaac; David and Goliath; Pentecost

Venice (S Salvatore): Annunciation; Transfiguration

Venice (S Sebastiano): St Nicholas

Vienna (Kunsthistorisches Mus.): Madonna and Child (Gypsy Madonna); Tarquin and Lucretia; Portrait of a Young Woman; Young Woman in a Black Dress; Il Bravo; Madonna of the Cherries; Portrait of Gian Giacomo Bartolotti of Parma (The Physician of Parma); Isabella d’Este; Portrait of a Girl in Fur; Ecce Homo; Portrait of Benedetto Varchi; Man with a Book and Staff; Portrait of a Young Man; Portrait of a Gentleman; Portrait of Johann Friedrich; Danaë with a Nurse; Portrait of Fabrizio Salvaresio; Portrait of Jacopo Strada; Nymph and Shepherd

Washington, DC (NGA): Feast of the Gods (with Giovanni Bellini); Portrait of Pietro Bembo; Portrait of Ranuccio Farnese; Portrait of Doge Andrea Gritti; Vision of St John the Evangelist; Venus and Adonis; Venus with a Mirror; Vincenzo Cappello (c. 1540, oil/canvas)

Auction Records

Amsterdam, 1703: Orpheus Playing with the Animals, FRF 330

Paris, 1769: Pope Adrian VI, FRF 2,410

Paris, 1793: Diana Surprised while Bathing, FRF 62,500

London, 1801: Madonna, Infant Jesus and St Catherine, FRF 30,190

London, 1810: Ariadne on Naxos, FRF 39,370

London, 1820: Death of Actaeon, FRF 44,620

Paris, 1852: Christ of the Coin, FRF 65,000

London, 1884: Venus and Adonis, FRF 43,990

London, 1892: Mother and Child, FRF 62,400

London, 1899: Venus and Adonis, FRF 19,500

Paris, 3–5 June 1907: The Tribute Money, FRF 104,000; Portrait of a Venetian Gentleman, FRF 119,500; Holy Family, FRF 35,000

London, 2 March 1923: The Old Oak (sepia) GBP 115

London, 4–7 May 1923: Catarina Cornaro, GBP 378

Paris, 25 Feb 1924: Landscape (pen) FRF 5,000; Study of a Tree in a Landscape (pen) FRF 6,000

London, 13 May 1924: The Entombment (pen) GBP 410

London, 1 May 1925: Venus and Adonis, GBP 2,415; Saviour of the World (Salvator Mundi), GBP 1,470

London, 15 July 1927: Holy Family, GBP 3,570; Portrait of a Woman, GBP 4,200

London, 14 Dec 1928: Daniello Barbaro, GBP 7,560

London, 3 May 1929: A Navagero, GBP 3,255

London, 12 July 1929: Mary Magdalene, GBP 4,620

London, 7 March 1930: Portrait of a Gentleman, GBP 8,505

New York, 2 April 1931: Archbishop Querini, USD 20,500

Munich, 13 and 14 Oct 1938: Man Praying (drawing) DEM 3,100

New York, 3 Dec 1942: Cardinal Pietro Bembo, USD 11,000

New York, 18 April 1956: Madonna and Child with St Sebastian and St James, USD 4,250

London, 24 June 1959: Portrait Presumed to Be the Duke of Urbino and His Son, GBP 24,000

London, 24 March 1961: Portrait of Soliman the Great, GBP 7,350

London, 29 Nov 1968: Portrait of a Young Aristocrat, Gns 36,000

London, 25 June 1971: Death of Actaeon, Gns 1,600,000

London, 8 Dec 1972: Salome, Gns 55,000

London, 24 March 1976: Portrait of a Gentleman (oil on canvas, 48 × 38¼ ins/122 × 97 cm) GBP 72,000

London, 2 Dec 1977: Portait of Giacomo Dolfin (oil on canvas, 40½ × 35¼ ins/102.8 × 89.5 cm) GBP 60,000

London, 8 April 1981: Portrait of a Gentleman (oil on canvas, 48 × 38¼ ins/122 × 97 cm) GBP 90,000

Rome, 16 May 1986: Virgin and Child with St Catherine, the Infant St John and Two Cherubs (oil on canvas, 37½ × 34¼ ins/95 × 87 cm) ITL 500,000,000

New York, 2 June 1989: Penitent Mary Magdalene (oil on panel, 43½ × 31 ins/110.5 × 78.5 cm) USD 2,640,000

New York, 11 Jan 1991: Portrait of Giulio Romano Showing the Plan of a Church (oil on canvas) USD 1,100,000

London, 13 Dec 1991: Venus and Adonis (oil on canvas, 63 × 77¼ ins/160 × 196.5 cm) GBP 7,480,000

Milan, 28 Nov 1995: Rest During the Flight to Egypt (oil on canvas, 35¾ × 63 ins/91 × 160 cm) ITL 828,000,000

London, 3 July 1997: Portrait of a Venetian Admiral in Armour and Wearing a Red Cloak (oil on canvas, 34¼ × 28¾ ins/87 × 73.3 cm) GBP 1,211,500

London, 7 July 2000: Portrait of Giacomo Doria in Black Robes (oil on canvas, 46 × 39 ins/116 × 98 cm) GBP 2,200,000

Venice, 4 Nov 2000: Portrait of the Doge Francesco Dona (oil on canvas, 39 × 31 ins/100 × 79 cm) ITL 130,000,000

London, 18 Jan 2001: Madonna and Child (oil on canvas, 26 × 24 ins/67 × 61 cm) GBP 1,800

Vienna, 22 March 2001: Portrait of Duke Emanuele Filiberto de Savoia (oil on canvas, 48 × 35 ins/122 × 90 cm) ATS 2,100,000

Venice, 9 Nov 2003: Mary Magdalene (oil on canvas, 41 × 37 ins/105 × 95 cm) EUR 2,850,000

Budapest, 24 May 2005: Mary Holding the Infant Jesus and a Man Reading to Them (oil on canvas, 43 × 38 ins/109.3 × 96.6 cm) HUF 140,000,000

London, 7 Dec 2005: Saint Sebastian (oil on canvas, 67 × 28 ins/170.2 × 71.2 cm) GBP 26,000

New York, 6 April 2006: Mater Dolorosa (oil on panel, 27 × 22 ins/68.6 × 55.9 cm) USD 800,000

Madrid, 19 Dec 2006: Portrait of a Lady (oil on canvas, 37 × 31 ins/94 × 78.8 cm) EUR 360,000

New York, 24 Jan 2008: The Penitent Magdalene (oil on panel, 43½ × 31 ins/110.5 × 78.5 cm) USD 4,521,000

New York, 29 Jan 2009: Portrait of an Admiral, Probably Francesco Duodo (1518–1592), Half Length, Wearing Armour (oil on canvas, 35 × 30½ ins/88.6 × 77 cm) USD 1,762,500

New York, 27 Jan 2011: A Sacra Conversazione: The Madonna and Child with Saints Luke and Catherine of Alexandria (oil on canvas, 50½ × 67 ins/127.8 × 169.7 cm) USD 16,882,500

New York, 30 Jan 2013: The Submersion of Pharaoh’s Army in the Red Sea (the complete woodcut printed from 12 blocks on 12 sheets of paper, 47¾ × 87¼ ins/121.1 × 221.4 cm) USD 854,500

London, 2 July 2013: Portrait of a Cleric, Bust-Length, in a Blue Coat and Black Hat (oil on canvas, 17¼ × 13¼ ins/43.7 × 33.3 cm) GBP 781,875


  • Cavalcaselle, Giovanni Battista/Archer Crowe, Joseph: Titian, His Life and Times, John Murray, London, 1877.
  • Barbantini, Nino/Fogolari, Gino: Mostra di Tiziano, exhibition catalogue, Officine Grafiche C. Ferrari, Venice, 1935.
  • Mauroner, Fabio: Le Incisioni di Tiziano, exhibition catalogue, Le Tre Venezie, Padua, 1941.
  • Grassi, Luigi: Tiziano, exhibition catalogue, Danesi, Rome, 1945.
  • Pope, Arthur: Titian’s ‘Rape of Europa’, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (MA), 1960.
  • Valcanover, Francesco/Tomalin, Sylvia (trans.): All the Paintings of Titian, 42 vols, Oldbourne, London, 1965.
  • Pallucchini, Rodolfo: Tiziano, 2 vols, G. C. Sansoni, Florence, 1969.
  • Panofsky, Erwin: Problems in Titian, Mostly Iconographic, New York University Press, New York, 1969.
  • Wethey, Harold E.: The Paintings of Titian, 3 vols, Phaidon, London, 1969–1975.
  • Oberhuber, Konrad/Goldfarb, Hilliard/Palluchini, Rodolfo: Disegni di Tiziano e della sua cerchia, exhibition catalogue, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Neri Pozza, Venice, 1976.
  • Rosand, David/Muraro, Michelangelo: Titian and the Venetian Woodcut, International Exhibitions Foundation, Washington, DC, 1976.
  • Le Opere di Tiziano alla Galleria Borghese di Roma, exhibition catalogue, Galleria Borghese, Roma; s.n., Florence, 1977.
  • Siebenhüner, Herbert: Der Palazzo Barbarigo della Terrazza in Venedig und seine Tizian-Sammlung, Centro Tedesco di Studi Veneziani, 5, Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich and Berlin, 1981.
  • Pallucchini, Rodolfo: Da Tiziano a El Greco: per la storia del Manierismo a Venezia, 1540–1590, exhibition catalogue, Electa, Milan, 1981.
  • Rosand, David: Titian, His World and His Legacy, Columbia University Press, New York, 1982.
  • Nash, Jane: Veiled Images: Titian’s Mythological Paintings for Philip II, Art Alliance Press, Philadelphia (PA), 1985.
  • Goffen, Rona: Piety and Patronage in Renaissance Venice: Bellini, Titian and the Franciscans, Yale University Press, New Haven (CT), 1986.
  • Wethey, Harold Edwin: Titian and His Drawings: With Reference to Giorgione and Some Close Contemporaries, Princeton University Press, Princeton (NJ), 1987.
  • Rosand, David: The Meaning of the Mark: Leonardo and Titian, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, 1988.
  • Agnese Chiari, M./Wiel, Moretto: Titian Drawings, Rizzoli, New York, 1990.
  • Biadene, Susanna/Yakush, Mary: Titian: Prince of Painters, Prestel, Munich, 1990.
  • Manca, Joseph (ed.): Titian 500, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 1993.
  • Ridolfi, Carlo/Bondanella, Julia Conway (ed.)/Bondanella, Peter (trans.): The Life of Titian, Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, 1996.
  • Goffen, Rona: Titian’s ‘Venus of Urbino’, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York 1997.
  • Goffen, Rona: Titian’s Women, Yale University Press, London and New Haven (CT), 1997.
  • Rosand, David: Painting in Sixteenth-century Venice: Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York, 1997 (2nd rev. ed.).
  • Cole, Bruce: Titian and Venetian Painting, 1450–1590, Icon Editions, Boulder (CO), 1999.
  • Joannides, Paul: Titian to 1518: The Assumption of Genius, Yale University Press, New Haven (CT) and London, 2001.
  • Pedrocco, Filippo: Titian: The Complete Paintings, Thames and Hudson, London, 2001.
  • Goffen, Rona: Renaissance Rivals: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian, Yale University Press, New Haven (CT), 2002.
  • Hope, Charles, and others: Titian, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery, London, 2003.
  • Meilman, Patricia (ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Titian, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York, 2004.
  • Brown, David Alan, and others: Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 2006.
  • Ilchman, Frederick/Borean, Linda: Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Distributed Art Publishers, New York, 2009.
  • Bowron, Edgar Peters (ed.): Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland, exhibition catalogue Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (TX), 2010.
  • Cranston, Jodi: The Muddied Mirror: Materiality and Figuration in Titian’s Later Paintings, Pennsylvania State University Press, College Park, 2010.