BY COUNT ADELBERT DZIEDUZYCKI.
One in the company of Vienna art friends presented lecture, by Adelbert Count Dzieduzycki. What I intend could probably be conceived as a wanton intervention in art history. As it is not any smaller matter than to have one of the most celebrated, actually the most admirable heroes in art, and to dispute a considerable number of world renowned masterpieces and as originator of the same to designate a man whose name practically only art historians in authority have any recognition of.
That I have the courage and not be frightened - is due to a new condition of art criticism. As it is now possible in few days to travel from Madrid to Petersburg, and compare masterpieces that were in distance long separated, and have these same pictures with remembrance to compare. Having photos of all the art works in possession and arranged side by side, one notice there are some inconsistencies which are contrary to the old tradition and considerations.
We are wondering how our ancestors - as we ourselves have in our youth - have admired and praised excessively the inferior and passed by for hundreds of years the remarkable with out noticing it. We have now a whole row of pictures - and not the inferior alone - by the great masters disputed and as such rejected.
The justified reputation of the kings of art is not being repudiated by this. Instead they are in their style more clearly defined with the separation of the suspect works. This is therefore the reason that the amount of important, in fact great names in art history have greatly increased and previously unknown or less appreciated artist are now considered as originators of authentic masterpieces and as such appreciated, and it is also common that whole groups of paintings being separated and attributed to a very strong artist personality, without one having the smallest idea of the originator from the attesting document of the work of art, or even to try to identify the art by his name.
Art critics' boldness has approached the work of Titian. But they have with this master only superficially attempted anything and nearly everything, which was traditionally attributed to this great Venetian or which is associated with his workshop, is also now in the old fashioned way as Titians, still autograph by him. Barely have we brought it so far that we on occasion hear the name of some of his co-workers. Earlier where we thinking about Titian that he, in typical Venetian custom, produced paintings with his relatives as workshop managers, there were, moreover, all important artists of the later Venetian school. Who were educated: and where they, after the apprenticeship in the customs of their time, At least in their later apprenticeship years participated in the production of paintings coming from his workshop. And many others apprentices that only fleetingly show the mark of Titians workshop, many others also only fleetingly show the mark of the master in what is conventionally assumed to be his so called late style.
I'd like to direct the friends of art attention to the students and collaborators who Titan himself praised the most. To the master's own son, "Orazio Vecellio", in whom the aging master confided the management of the workshop and who was also the companion of Titan on all his later travels exempt one and whom the father designated heir of his artists name and his fame - regretfully in vain.
I am a person who has been given very little time for documentary studies. I can only hint and ask questions and provoke some thoughts. I will simply tell how it happened with me and titian, since the time I was a young man. Initially, I made the acquaintance of his works. I believe that what I observed is that many had the same or at least similar feelings. In my youth I was so blinded by the magnificent colour of the Venetians that I found it very hard to see the other art directions in Florence and Rome which were predominating, and so as such to dignify! It is natural for the one who knows Titian! It flows already with the name. The impression of the warm rays of the bright afternoon sun. He is possibly the most classical of the renaissance artists. Compared the most with the conception of the genuine Greek, which was still so common in the last century. These powerful figures of his have even the classical features, where it is not a matter of likeness, they remain in opulent, tasteful comfort in peace without being in the style of Rubens' sensuality or to transform into a large amount of flesh, always blissful and precious after the style of the Olympians, waking up these god-like figures out of their visual peace, so is this a powerful, non- measurable, miraculously reproduced pleasure. How the incomparable Colour symphony the Assumption of the Virgin in the Academy radiates this special colour ate, both cheerful and celebrative, which heightens with these the more hedonic mood of his pictures. It ensnares the senses as by no other master. A work immediately captivating like the music of a Mercadante of Rossini, if it were tried in one of these colour magnificent pictures, a painful passion to reproduce. So will this never completely succeed and the great titian becomes noble, and theatrical, that he understood the peaceful soul-life of precious nature so masterful to express. This proves with a look at Christ with the Tribute Money in Dresden. But who in the Louvre, in front of the entombment stands? He must have the highest admiration for the masterly colour figuration but sees maybe in these only noble Italian actors performing a scene from a sparkling Italian opera.
I met both in Venice itself and in other places paintings attributed to Titian and in part very highly praised pictures where I lost my self-control and where my admiration denied itself. In vain was I searching for the preferences of the great master when I, for example, in the Lagoon City, glanced at the Pieta in the Academy? The transfiguration in the Church San Salvatore. Yes even the Doge Grimany before Faith in the Dogen Palace or the one here in Vienna - the Adulteress before Christ - I miss the beaming warmth of the sun, the glorious accords, lesser complimenting colours, and the celebrating blissful mood which usually delighted my heart. There was no colour to talk about! I was seeing dark unfriendly pictures which seem enclosed by night, darkness and by colourless twilight. In the best of cases the painted figures stood in the middle of soberness, bright light on a grey cloudy day sometimes surrounded by yellow material light rays by the one located in the Jesuit Church in Venice - Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence - which shall be included with these pictures coming from separate light sources, unpleasant rays in the sad grey night, where all these lights do not bring any uplifting life in the depressing darkness, vanishing with no saving smile, the overwhelming, squeezing mourning of the picture from Olympian peace from celebrating, not disturbing blissfulness - there is absolutely no talk here.
Everything is a continuous, nearly uncanny, pain. Every friend of the arts would already have made the experience that one by one loved master attributed picture -even when it is, by itself, excellent- it at first and at length displeases if the style of the master opposes, And when one looks in vain at the picture for the known preferences of the venerated master. It is no wonder that it took so long before I understood the great, in part even impossible to compare preferences of these pictures, and so to dignify these! Which one is so used to signify as of the style of Titians old age? In the entire body of art there is probably nothing so grasping, tragic, yet so genuine and dramatic. Nowhere was pain, yearning, passion, so inward, so powerful, and so differently expressed. Maybe never was the inside of a mortal being overwhelmed from storms, the languishing soul of the human being, visual forms so truthfully and powerfully outspoken as in these tragic masterpieces. It can only be the creations of Luca Signorelly, Michelangelo and Tintoretto and maybe Passiopictures by Rodger van der Weyden and Fra Bartolommeo Della Porta to oppose these dark pictures.
This inward quite pitiful soul pain has possibly only Botticelli completely expressed the inward, in paintings. In the representation of the enthusiasm of the energetic active man. There is probably nothing that can compare with these so called late paintings by Titian. No wonder that I have met many beginners in the study of art who at the first acquaintance with the great Venetian painters learned to revere the name of Titian when he observed a picture of the late style. Perhaps from the glowing prophetic ST. John the Baptist in the Academy in Venice and fill him with enthusiasm. Such a one will it be equally as difficult to judge these pictures sincerely. It would seem that the master's admirers had pre-conceived ideas as soon as they hear the name of Titian. As it cost me considerable pains to do the powerful late style justice. A greater contrast is in all the Venetian school not in existence. As between the hedonistic radiating bundles of light on which one involuntary is thinking about when one is talking about Titian.
In the dark paintings, which one and all began after the year 1540, in a time when Titians son Orazio Vecellio was already handling a brush and who maybe at the time gave the persuading expression of the Counter Reformation prevailing ascetic religion? The unpretentious holy Madonna’s of Giovanni Bellini are not so separated from the stormy shaking compositions of Tintoretto as both together outgrew Christian feeling. With out question pictures from Titians workshop consist of two opposites inside one art direction and are the expressions of widely separated artistic individuals, even the techniques are as different as is possible in the Venetian school and during 16th century.
The splendid colours characteristic of Titian's paintings sees gold as the base of the whole colour composition and with preferences for red, green and blue. Violet is avoided in most cases and where it does appear it is a usually bleak colour. White is used sparingly and usually on garments, and in the framing of a white female breast. The flesh tone is bright, pink, translucent and peaceful.
The bodies of women and children are wonderfully soft. Where there are shadows they are used only in the true sunlight brightened parts of the picture as to appear so much lighter. These shadows are broad and calm and with the coming years always broader and quieter. They are wonderful, translucent and saturated with light, just as are the shadows in a lagoon where a magical reflection in the quiet sea mirrors the sun, where even in the darkest corner it penetrates and everything clears.
Drawing mistakes, even obvious ones, are sometimes apparent but the figures are never stiff. They are even with the most violent motions calm. They never appear boisterous always restrained and so effectively strong. Even angels in flight are in their lines calm and relaxed.
Altogether different is the state of the pathetic pictures. Which are in general identified as late works of Titian? Instead of gold it seems here that copper and rust is looking thorough. The collared shadows are always cold and grey. Often with out reason. In nervous way, torn to pieces at the rim. Many times rays escape and in the picture itself are located light sources. But this light is impermeable. It does not penetrate: it reflects in the shadows. Even in the middle of a glory, existing figures are not warmed. Hardly illuminated ochre yellow white and again grey, are the canvas most prominent colours and the artist professes one for contemporary Italians strange desire for large fold like rich white garment. The fleshy parts are painted by a downright nervous hand. The tone is brown or greenish grey. Green under paint is in many cases observable. The naked body has nothing from the golden glow which we have admired so much in Titian paintings.
Already through the passionate and subjective Character of the composition is a completely different handling of the drawing imperative. Outstanding is especially by the early pictures of this style a certain stiffness in the hands observably in the same pictures that are done, it is the uneasy execution of small details. As hair and jewellery.
At the same time there are also difficulties attended probably as a rule, but not always easy overcome. In competition with imitators of Michelangelo, Corregio, and Tintoretto. Are the daring postures the perspectives and of course the foreshortened human body. And forceful events grand disturbances are even prevalent when the same does not serve as expression of strength. And floating figures even the seldom appearing putten figures are standing with out sufficient reason on its heads. They are not beautiful but only there to show the painters dexterity.
Long ago have I learned also to admire also these dark restless, but highly pathetic compositions and to highly appreciate and in all humility I was faithful to the prevailing orthodox belief, that they were works of Titian's extreme old age I say now "credo quia absurdum est" I find this thing inconceivable. However it can hold true for other masters where there are large changes in style and we willingly separate the different manners. But with Raphael, Murillo, and Rubens there are no changes in artistic direction! The early pictures and the later pictures are always children of the same mind, expressions of the same artistic individual. With time the painters are more free and powerful in their art and daring in technique. They become more competent, more astounding, they are experimenting on new objects, becoming glamorous where earlier they where only endearing.
In the case of Titian I was forced to believe in a complete transformation of the artist, the human psyche and had to assume that the elderly Titian had completely renounced his youth, jumping out of his own skin with out leaving a trace and abandoning his personality. The greatest wonder at this was that the originator of the pictures of the late style in his new manner seemed at first very embarrassed. The early works in this new direction still being clumsy and youthful, shy in appearance even then, when regardless of the above, admiration appears because the strong power of expression of one earlier wholly unaccustomed passion. The paintings are only slowly getting freer and complete, as if the old man had to re-learn that in which in his past already complete mastery had. It is peculiar that these and only these workshop productions of the Vecellio family are very often unfinished, but that is supposed to be explained by the extreme old age of the artist, it is, at the end not an absolute psychological impossibility although according to my knowledge it has never ever happened before! That a man in all his life throughout a objective genius, through advanced age or through some shocking occurrence, his temperament, his complete world view, suddenly changed. Yet because of this extra ordinary talent, completely new from the earlier Toto Genre different masterpieces produced.
I was nearly driven insane in Madrid with my beliefs so contradicted. I saw next to each other admirable masterpieces which came from Titians workshop during his old age, this masterful wonder of the arts was at least 71 when he created, without doubt, the incomparable masterpiece of the so called late style, Emperor Charles V. On horseback, colourless, dark, nevertheless unutterably grand. Some detail in the hands of the emperor and in the front feet of the horse are stiff and not with out self-consciousness. Nevertheless inflamed with tremendous power through the force of a repressed passion. To the inner part of the soul shocking, totally indigestible are the great still mostly of the later period which were delivered as ordered officially by the Spanish court from Titian Vecellio's firm.
Gray and violet treated pompous gymnastics performed gyrations in the Gloria exhibited in the Prado museum and in the paintings developed in the supposed late style. The two paintings of the Mater Dolorosa the Ecce homo all made somewhat later made than the emperor Act, in a dark brownish tone void of colour allure. Nevertheless it is totally gripping through the deep tragic and the expression of religious fervour and estranges by their admirable mood - all the ones who are used to attribute to Titian only hedonistic or at least friendly works.
Titian was about 82 years old when the Entombment was completed and left Titian's workshop -a dark, truly sad picture painted with tremendous dexterity from the dominant master of his craft. With out any kind of colour magic and no theatrical pomp, every brush stroke expressing the deepest pain. A painting whose uneven variations are in Museums in Vienna and Pest. Hanging in the immediate neighbourhood of these dark, pathetic and thoroughly ascetic Christian works, are the incomparable masterpieces in Madrid, glowing with blinding colours which in all of them show hedonic cheerfulness and serenity. To view these with their particular peculiarities betray titian that in his entire youthful and full grown career emerges in the same year as the Mater Dolorosa came to Madrid. With the Flaming Danae incomparably more beautiful than similar paintings from the same workshop which were shipped to Naples, Vienna and St. Petersburg, a picture in which a 77 year old Titian exceeded all in his sensuous colour, splendour and hedonism.
At 92 years of age, Titian sent his painting "The Fall of Man" to the Spanish Court. Titian's painting was admired by Rubens and who copied from the much admired work of Titian on the same theme. Adam and Eva from a distance the bright colouring is quite blinding, despite the fact that this dramatic, tragic Christian subject almost invited, even demanded a mysterious interpretation. Yet we see in front of us a joyful creation of pure Olympian beauty, happiness and serenity. Adam and Eva could just as well be immortal Greek gods. The spirit of this beautiful painting is much more Hellenic and hedonistic than of a fundamental Christian theme. The whole creation here is a reflection of youth, but the mastery of the adult Titian is possibly much greater than before. The colours glow and are much more forceful and lighter. The shadows are more daring shown in the use of wider, calm brushstrokes.
Also in the same gallery are the portraits Venus and Adonis and st. Margaret. Titian was 78 when he finished the first one yet neither show any trace of the so called late style. There is none of the pathos, Tragic, dark moods and muted colours. On the contrary one is held fast through the splendour of the bright colours, the warm, translucent shadows and classic cheerfulness. It is educating to compare a Madrid picture by Titian which has the same subject as the Vienna picture "The Adulteress before Christ", produced from his workshop during his old age. The Vienna picture is dark and colourless but at the same time profoundly moving and distinctly tragic. In Madrid, the same type of painting with its numerous figures boasts of a joyful life, the cheerfulness and colour pleasing the viewer.
Is it possible? Is it credible! That the same man in the same time with two contrary natures has the ability to give the same unsurpassed, cheerful, hedonistic expression? Then next a mystic Christ painted and paid homage to two completely different serving and alternating his gestalts at any time like a genuine proteus shape-changing and wantonly playing, that even in a highly aged condition he executed this kind of painting. The magnificently coloured joyful pictures must have been painted by Titian; no one else would or could have accomplished them. But there comes the question who on earth could have been the great artist who did the other dark deep thoughtful, soul tragic, shocking paintings. Outside of Madrid there are many excellent pictures by Titian which when painted in his old age that have nothing in common with the so called late style and are only through daring grand workmanship to separate from the glorious Venetian.
I would like to mention a few by Titian, especially the Jupiter and Antiope. The amazing work of an 89 year old man who with youthful poetry knew how to transform himself in to the classic world of Hellenistic mythology and knew how to clarify this with excellent colour splendour. In this group there is also the flaming Mary Magdalene in Naples' National Museum and even from a distance its glowing colouration attracts the eyes of all the visitors.
His Daughter Emilia as Pomona was painted when Titian was 90 years old [translator's note: circa September 1567. With not the slightest trace of the late style] which is now in Berlin. With these I also include the Darling Resting Amour in the Vienna Museum which is probably characteristic for wantonness with which the old man tried to paint a landscape in the now modern impressionistic style which in any case is so warmly colour splendid so sensual and so full of strange classic charm as any other from the same time when Titian painted the assumption of the Virgin, the Pesaro Madonna and the Flora now in the Uffizi.
The st. Jerome in the desert in Milan Brera, the Venus with the Mirror in Petersburg [now in the National Gallery in Washington] finally Titians darling daughter Lavina in Dresden his first oldest daughter.
It was very noticeable that the number of paintings produced in his very old age increased many times, so significant, that even by a much younger man it would become inconceivable that they where all works of the master. It is with out question truly a wonder of nature, that this never -tiring artist never left the brush out of his hand until he almost reached the 100 year mark. But after seventy years of work he practically doubled his output. This is too much of a wonder. Surely no one in all seriousness will believe this.
We all know now pretty well what the workshop of a famous painter through the whole renaissance until deep in to the 17 century was like. We know pretty well in those times no one was very worried about the literary and artistic ownership rights as they apply today. That in the parts of weak co-workers as dramas by Shakespeare ascended, or got the handiwork of untold students and assistants of praised masters often marked with his firm [i.e. factory] are delivered for sale with his signature as his own work and that usually a whole crew of assistants was involved in the execution of large pieces. For a long time has one separated works with his own hand, works not all by himself, and school pictures of famous artist. And with the advancement of modern criticism the amount of work by his own hand as had works by Raphael shrunken significantly. Works by Leonardo da Vinci have been probed in a still greater measure.
In Titian's workshop one has yet to do a house cleaning. This is especially very recommended on the works that where created after 1547 as since then very few pictures were finished which with the continuing of the usual style betray a true mastery of Titians workmanship and as such could be truly called with the own hand of the celebrated master and so had the right to be accepted as such. Most of the pictures I have already mentioned. The rest that are associated with this time is the work of students and assistants for the greater part. We are dealing with weaker variances of famous compositions which also were produced in great quantities in the younger days of the workshop- or they are pictures that were after the design of the master or show the peculiarities of the great master instead. They are truly beautiful in colour, except the workmanship idiosyncrasies show a much weaker hand, but that still in colour and style they exclude the full warm tone.
The names of many of Titians assistants are known to us. They, in the most part achieved fame by themselves. Famous artists, glorious students! In his early youth there was Paolo Veronese, Tintoretto, Paris Bordone, in his later years, Palma Giovanni. They have probably supplied all the repetitious variations from Titians design. Contarinni has in later time’s converted Titian motifs that are somewhat freer than masterly. I am tempted to ascribe to him the example of Danae in Vienna since the same similarities appear in the small Venus in the Academy in Venice. Also a German named Manuel was an assistant and a well known imitator of the great master.
Titian received help from his own family, such as his cousin Caesar Vecellio who provided much input. Also working in the much coveted workshop of the master were his nephews Francesco and Marco Vecellio. From Francesco we have believable paintings but the very sweet pink contending designs tend to remind one of candy. The last one painted the somewhat wooden figure of his patron in the picture of the Doge Grimani in the Faith in the Doges Palace. Finally, at last, it is easy to see that coming out of titian's workshop were paintings by Leandro Bassano’s hand. These, darkish pathetic, often very great pictures which are usually considered as representing the late style of Titian.
In the workshop of the master the production was handled by a special, sharply Characterized and sharply separated group whose origin can be attributed to one man in particular, a very important man to whom they can be attributed. These are not simply imitations - on the contrary in these pictures a peculiar spirit expresses his opinion. They are the works of an artist genius who in most things was in complete opposition and contrary to Titian's manner. This artist was working in Titians workshop and his works were signed by the world renowned Firm yet even so he had the authority to work completely by himself to produce by himself whilst holding a preferred position in the workshop.
It was none of the previous mentioned assistants of the master whose known works in the manner of the indicated picture rows have nothing in common. Tintoretto is the closest in style to this unknown, but this one was already the head of his own highly respected workshop since most of the late style saw the light of day and the same paintings are at the first look easy to separate from the work of Tintoretto.
Only as long as Titian was alive were these paintings which we are talking about produced. Some stayed in the workshop unfinished as in 1576 death finally released the old man finally a victim of the plague and since then nothing has been painted that was the same in likeness or which could be mistaken for it. These circumstances are the reason that prevented an honest "question "as to the autograph of Titians late style. This reason in particular besides many others are the one which force me to consider and to name Titian's younger son Orazio Vecellio as the producer of these works.
Titian was already 46 years old when he married his wife named Cecelia. He had in the years after two sons and his loved Daughter Lavina. [Translators note: It has been documented after the counts article - that Titian had another daughter later after the death of his wife named Emilia] the older son Pomponino went to be a priest although he was very careless and gave his father considerable trouble. The younger son Orazio was quite the opposite and became his fathers comfort and joy. He practiced since childhood in the arts of his Father and Titian considered him a completely equally competent artist. The letters of the Father were full of praise. For his son and the recognition of his extraordinary talent.
Titan tried carefully to lift the respect of his son with art lovers. And he contended always that he was not worried about the future of his workshop, since his son Orazio after his dead will with out question continue the business in the same honorable fashion. As a young boy he took him on his trips to Rom and Augsburg to the Pope and Emperors court. He transferred to the man the managing of his business and his workshop.
In the year 1559 the 33 year old Orazio travelled on behalf of his father to Milan, to the City comptroller, the Duke of Sessa to deliver pictures for the court of Spain and to bring back monies from accounts long overdue. Besides this he was in Milan to paint the Duke of Sessas portraits from his own hand. The favours that he was seemingly receiving aroused the jealousy of his landlord, a sculptor named Leone Aretino, who made a murderous attack on Orazio. The badly wounded Orazio was treated by the doctors of the Duke of Sessa, and Titian send the Duke letters in which he expressed clearly that in case of the death of his son he would no longer be able to serve the King - that means he could no longer execute the kings orders because of the extreme pain, the renowned master carefully adding, "I probably would lose my mind! ".
Seven years later Orazio with the help of many assistants completed the ceiling paintings in the city hall of Brescia for the community, since the contract had gone to titian despite his 90 years he made the trip to Brescia to view in person the rooms that had to be beautified. A dispute ensued over the price to be paid for the paintings, and in the end Titian adjusted the price changing the commission on the grounds that the paintings were not executed by him.
No one in the sixteenth century expected the execution of a large painting to be solely by the Masters own hand. Such monumental commissions undertaken by famous painters' firms were designed and executed by his students and assistants under the supervision of the master. The question arose and was certainly disputed that even the design of the composition and the supervision of the whole work was not by Titian in this case Orazios own hand.
Unlucky fate has prevented us from knowing any painting that was done outside of his father’s workshop. The ceiling paintings in Brecsia were destroyed by fire in 1575. But it was not for Orazio to manage the workshop him self after Titian's death in 1576, for only weeks later Orazio himself died of the Plague. Thus it fell to Leandro Bassano and Giovani Palma to complete Titian's unfinished paintings in the workshop for delivery to the customers.
Reports of contemporary sources contended that titian was a very greedy and cunning man. It can only be from pure greed that explains why he would never turn an order down which was not in standing with such a celebrated artist by one less scrupulous man. Sadly to say this is how titian has been described by his contemporaries. It would be easier understood that this was at the time in a common artist's custom thing. Should the master have saved himself the bother and problems of completing unpleasant orders since he had a highly competent son, so it was very enticing to give these orders to his son? Most of the time he would have left in some of his own design and probably supervised most of the work without disturbing the peculiar style of his son. In time Titian became more and more dependent upon the genius of Orazio; after his own strength decreased with the unrelenting onset of old age. There are very few pictures by him with in his very late years which would be permitted to show his own hand. It would have been the experience of the old man that the ones by his own hand were coveted the most and consequently were priced the highest, but in truth the works first produced and designed by Orazio received the most applause and they were at the time the most fashionable, and which the disposition and the artistic schooling the greatest of Cambolinis students were unable to concede. So it should have happened that Orazios orders for new compositions went with always more created independence, and that the works were always delivered as works by titian. Alongside the old man still continued working by himself, but in a relaxed manner and only executed non-forced paintings, drawing on his poetic fantasies. While Contarini and other students and artist assistants produced the copies and loved variation of Titians older or newer creations. From the beginning are we placing this as the probable sequence.
Accordingly are all orders which where completed in Titians workshop in his old age produced in the same manner which points to the originator as Orazio. While the comparable rare painting which is a really autograph work of the elderly Titian never resulted as the consequence of an order, instead by Titian he as Poesies named! And as the expression of the present mood these paintings in retrospect where all sent to Charles the fifth and Philip the second of Spain and from these as very deservedly honoured and richly paid for.
The amazing maturity of renaissance artist is to modern man astonishing. It is somewhat easier to understand if we consider that one did not have to go to all the numbers of other studies before one got entrance to the painter’s school since painting was the main business of the potential master already in his childhood years.
Under these circumstances the old workshops would collect many prodigies and precocious sons of painters who probably learned drawing and painting with their mother language, and there should be nothing objectionable that the first to me known picture which through the greenish brownish undertone, through the restless separation, ripped lights and shadows, betrays the hand of Orazio already in the year 1534 in a time taken in which Orazio had not quite grown out of the children playroom.
In this year gave Isabella de Este duchess mother from Mantua, a not very flattering order to paint her picture not to nature but after a probably inferior portrait out of her younger years. Since the high lady wanted herself to be represented as beautiful as possible to her heirs. It sometime took nearly 10 years before one by titian ordered painting was delivered. In all probability the dear Isabella must have waited a number of years which is how in the Vienna collection there is a very important yes, an important art work; But especially flattering to the duchess it is not. The characteristic head is with dry nearly naive reality reproduced. The hands are a little stiff and wood like and the objects of admiration are mostly the hair the jewellery and other small things that are especial pronounced, and which are things which are in titian very uncommon. Compares one the whole composition of the picture which he titian at the same time produced. Pictures in Florence with the Duchess and Duke of Urbino in the Uffizi or with the irresistible magical Belle de Titziano in the Pitti Palace.
Then it is hard to believe in the common origin of the paintings. The suspicion is that Titian had ignored the unpleasing for a couple of years and then in the end gave it to the youth Orazio who in secret explored his power and his natural talent. In a similar order was it; That upon the order of the Venetian government he was to paint the youthful picture of the since 32 years dead daughter of the republic the queen of Cyprus Catharina Cornaro and if we are looking at the in 1542 produced rather unattractive stiff brownish under painted picture, a picture again in which the clever reproduction of the jewellery is pronounced in the picture we may again assume that in the 15th year he again represented his father in a not so pleasing order.
A particular conjecture that forces itself forward with regard to the Allocution of Davalos a large not very presumptuous official painting which is in the Prado Museum and is already warning us of the late style. It was completed at the same time as the portrait of Caterina Cornaro. The portrait of is so cheerless and spiritless so colour poor, yes so needing that the completing even under the supervision of a great master by a 15 year old talented youth. It does not deserve a great amount of honour. Since the picture was damaged by fire and nearly completely over painted, one has to be very careful in the attribution of the same.
Orazio was already 17 years old, an age when many renaissance artist where already proficient and independent producers. When Titian got the order for the newly build church San Spirito in Isola which are all now located in the Santa Maria Del Salute part in the Sacristy and part in the Church itself. One is hard pressed to accept these as autograph of the master himself and this explains the condition as even here as later in Brecsia the payment of the asking price was refused. The other painting in particular which shows the descending of the Holy Spirit is probably not only executed but also designed by Orazio it is a dark stiff unfriendly work of a beginner who is anticipating the mystic and pathetic and whom the ability of a colourist fails.
In the year 1544 accompanied the youth the already slowing Titian to Rome to the Court of Pope Paul the third where the elderly Titian was received with all honour. He was supposed to give the roman art recognition. We know he gave his admiration, but not with out reservation and he valued his own art to a much greater degree of reverence. A permanent impression cans the viewing of the works of a strange spirit in Rome, on the 67 year old not have made! Completely different was probably the with Michelangelo soul related. Indeed already from the zeitgeist of the Counter Reformation touched son Orazio.
The paintings indeed the from the charm of the bright colours little impressed Orazio have probably already in his youth the Brescians and Tintoretto much impressed. And the powerful influence in seeing the ceiling paintings in the Sistine Chapel must have been like a revelation to Orazio and in Rome he finally found him. Already at an early meeting with the pope in bologna had Paul the third ordered his painting with titian at that time titian had produced a colour sketch by his own hand, which is now in Petersburg Hermitage, and which I had not the opportunity to visit at this time.
That now in the Neapolitan exhibited of the pope himself destined picture had Orazio probably in this one year stay in Rome for his father executed, since it had all the marks of the younger Vecellio.
It is one in the colour, dark but in most powerful passion containing masterpiece in which Orazio himself is obvious as a painter of first grade.
Less lucky is another out of the workshop of Titian coming many times over valued picture of the same museum, the so called Danae which not only the wonderful Madrid painting but also the Vienna one representing the same subject being of the same inferiority in the colour - cold in the concept mean- has this picture never given me pleasure. It was while in the stay in Rome Octavio Farnese ordered both paintings, one can not one moment in time believed that both came from the same hand.
By the feet of the Neapolitan Danae stands an amour that has nothing of the love charm or of the pathos of Titian. It is a strong unfriendly youth very much like many in some later works of Orazios. I am leaning toward that the painting is a failed attempt of the youth Orazios to compose by him self.
As Titian with his son Orazio in the year 1548 in to the court camp at Augsburg arrived, there where by him (Titian) so many pictures ordered, that the work of these the full time of the father and son encompassed. Yes when I look at the list of paintings that where in a few month produced, are we forced to assume that still other assistants where working on them. Practically all of these paintings where destroyed by fire in Spain. From the few that survived I only know three - The very and broad painted portrait of the at the Court camped prisoner, Frederick Johan von Saxony which is now kept in Vienna. It is probably by Titians own hand.
Both of the dark, nervous painted portraits of the Emperor betray a completely different workmanship and are probably the exceptionally good works of Orazio. The from me already earlier talked about equestrian painting of the Emperor, one of the Centre pieces of the Prado and one of the handsomest pictures which was ever painted. It is holding its originator in highest honour but is from all of the ones which one unconsciously is thinking about when ever one hears the name of titian,
So completely different that one could much sooner have the name of Velazquez as the originator of the wonder picture in mind when this now chronological where possible otherwise it is this a wonderful masterpiece completely included in the later works for which I have Orazio as originator in the first place. Here is the dramatic element represented as no other painting in the World. We are seeing for the first in complete execution the horse and the rider in the twilight illuminated landscape across which they are storming; the same dark colour mood and the nervous brush strokes that we are confronting in the pathetic works of the late style. At the same time in Augsburg in the same style painted and in the same collection kept Prometheus and Sisyphus are at length less demanding and prove that the originator was at length less demanding and prove that the originator was the youth Orazio. Despite being attracted by the tragic of the object was he unable in his pictures to make comparable history pictures.
From me definitely also to Orazio attributed picture of the sitting emperor in Munich Pinacoteck is despite the not exiting colour charm by far the best picture out of Titians workshop which is to be seen in the Munich collection.
A short time after, Titian in Venice received the order from the Emperor for a large painting by which not only the object but also the layout out of this unusual painting was decided by he customer in to the smallest detail. It was to portray the future moment at which the soul of the dead emperor appears before the throne of Trinity "la Gloria" was the supposed name of the picture. It is supposed to portray the heavenly glories. Martyrs and the penitent who where to pray to the almighty for the salvation of all the different early Faith bringers.
It is understood that such an order for the master was not especially pleasing, as he delayed the completing of the work. And after many reminders from the emperor were the picture finally in the year 1554 sent to Spain. With the assurance that the painting had cost him special pain.
If one does not know the painting; and believes that Titian the creator of the Assumption also created this Heavenly Splendour, and who is playing with his imagination; By seeing a shining gladness full of wonder; full of bright colour splendour, and the delightful figures to the blessed figures - virginal female holiness, and youthful confessor, filled with magical cheers incomparable angel children in flight; he will be disappointed. When he in the Prado Museum sees this unpleasant-boring - mostly violet-make-do. In which colour splendour is searched for in vain, in which not the slightest whisper of heavenly delight is heard. In which is not one Angel and thorough out most unhappy looking, mostly elderly man like holy figures, performing in a dark and revolting heaven doing confused gymnastics in front of the heavenly throne of the Almighty, and so ugly; twisted and turning as if they where having torturous nightmares!.
No it is impossible that Titian had this painting him self executed or designed, since he assured that it cost him considerable pain. This is an insincerely that he is guilty of. To stop and to prevent any doubt of the authenticity of the picture in case that the payment was held back for this reason.
The one who knows the customs of the great painters will not reproach Titian very much. It was Leonardo da Vinci that brought the Madonna in the rocks in the Louvre as a by his own hand -made painting when he gave the painting to the king, Francis the first of France and probably at least out side France very few art experts that hold the painting for no more than a school piece. One hundred year later had Rubens and van Dyck many times had to admit that as from their own hand delivered paintings in truth where painted by assistants!
As to the good reputation of Titian I will concur, but I stand to it that not he himself but his son Orazio in the great family workshop in Venice painted the great picture la-Gloria located in Madrid. Basically the design execution and the whole concept the colouring the drawing compare very much with the from me to Orazio attributed and accustomed to seeing style. Because the painting style of the really by his own hand painted Poesien of Titian differentiated so greatly. From the st marguerite and Venus and Adonis titled pictures which where at the same time sent to Spain and are at the present time in the Prado are in the direct vicinity of the "Heavenly Splendor!".The Gloria; the man who painted the Gloria was obviously a much younger artist who was no longer irradiated by the sun of the Italian Renaissance. One in the life philosophy of the Counter Reformation ripened front runner of the Seicento, an imitator of Michelangelo whom the Titanic restless figures of the last judgement influenced; but in the Can Doo, not being at par with the wanting. Where it was not the question of a single figure but a figure rich composition.
Yes as soon as we no longer accept the picture as a work of Titian, failing to find his own unsurpassable preferences as we take account of this detail or that, the gift of true colour harmony which is so bewitching. Sadly to say from nature not given he was a child of a completely different time.
As soon as I say we are not longer coveting the picture La Gloria as a Titian, then it is a little less displeasing. We are admiring the broad workmanship, the daring drawing yes we are recognizing in the restless composition a dark yet grandiose honest feeling, and religious pathos. The picture is not of already mentioned popes, or the emperor picture or even later, more ripened historical picture of the same style or equal, but it is still the work of an important artist who already has great ability but as yet has not reached full master ship.
The painting was winning loud praise with contemporary time companions. A young generation was much more thrilled thorough the at times existing modern concepts of the sons, than by the Olympian glare of the father. And even Charles the fifth fell in love with his own ordered picture that he after his abdication did not want to separate himself from the picture and took it with him into the Monastery of ST. Juste where he had the painting hanging in front of his dead bed. If the equestrian painting of the Emperor had the not to be denied influence on Velasquez so is the influence of the Gloria on the whole Spanish school, particularly the civilian precursor of Murillo not to be over looked.
Also under the later Italian have Luca Giordano and Tieopolo imitated many times this kind of similar composition. But our greatest admiration must go to the single figures which come from the same hand at the same time and where sent to Spain and located in the same museum. One of these the Thorn Crowned Redeemer the other ones the Mater Dolorosa about colour magic can here equally be no talk, the failing attempt to use beautiful colour garments has the result of nearly repelling colour scheme and the contention that the paintings where painted by Titians hand are incredible, unbelievable from the same Titian who later surpassed himself as a colourist in the Danae! And in the Fall of Man (painted in 1570) in exchange are we powerfully attracted through the of the holy intimate's and it is again impossible to believe that Titian in his happy classic soul had found the well of such; with out the in theatrical inclusion created pathos. I am holding these pictured for the first class works of Orazio.
- By the way there are still other utterly deep soul-shaking Mater Dolorosas which with out colour charm still have to be called masterpieces and with out doubt are derived from Orazio. From the Uffizi, a second in the palace of Count Tarnowski in Dzikow in Galicia.
Before long there came also out of Venice extensive orders to the workshop of Titian.
The man nearly 80 years old left the execution of these, possibly with the exception of the colour pretty classic calm wisely depicted ceiling pictures in the Libraries in San Sovenous usually to his son, While he himself was probably only following the ideas of his own fantasy as in the early years, colour splendid and only with broader brush strokes the Doge Vernir ordered a votive picture with the for thirty years dead Doge Grimani. Very peculiar and unusual was the picture after the death of Titian and Orazio it was still in the family workshop and it is now in the Doges Pallais. Antoni Grimani is not as commonly in this kind of Venetian votive picture portrayed as Doge. In the form, colour and gold shining robe, but as Knight in Armour and pictured before he was in the highest position of the Marcos Republic. He was held by the Turks as prisoner of war and the master pictured him as a prisoner of war comforted by a vision. The appearance of the white garmented youthful figure of the Faith surrounded by Glory and a wreath of Cherubs with the Chalice in the right and a Cross in the left comforting him with the hope of his return to the Lagoon City which is visible in the background. Most emotional is the wistful position of the kneeling hero behind whom a number of soldiers are set up. To the left of the observer stands behind the floating Faith and Salvation, Marcos with the gospel and the lion.
It seems the whole tribe of Vecellios was working on this votive picture.
The salvation the Marcos is knowingly painted by Marco Vecellio the soldiers are probably from still lesser hand and titian has probably painted a couple of angel Puttos but the unusual concept the sober colouring the white cloth of the Faith the clumsy fabric like glory, the way of giving shadows so the highly dramatic expression lets one attribute the design and execution to Orazio who being 30 years with this finally completed his master and considers himself now able to execute large historical pictures in every way.
A complete masterpiece in which probably everything derives from Orazio is the also at this time Quirini for another church offered Martyrdom of ST. Lawrence altarpiece. Who in a good light or a bright day around mid-day observes this one will by the powerful expression of this painted tragedy have no forgetfulness of this the youthful martyr by torturers and soldiers surrounded is on a spit on his back; and the torturer is in horrible process of tuning him over. The failing attempt to use beautiful colours as earlier pictures are proof that here as in the faith, they are completely ignored in return for the complete mastery of the handling of the half dark in this as splendid pronounced as by Titian himself.
The unusual night piece. Three lights crisscross masterly in the darkness the red glow under the spit the from above down-flickering reflections of a torch and finally an over natural from a bright point in the heavens down shining light which clears the naked body of the beautiful Saint wonderfully. Here are no angles showing, no tortured figures as in the Gloria. Everything is in the gripping dark composition that is necessary and the complete competence in the flaying is observed in the daring shortening in which the Saint is portrayed. In the highest degree admirable is the reproduction of the different holy dramatic composed soul mood.
Hard and cruel are the passions of the torturer similar to the tragedy of a Sophocles in passion overcome. There is terror and pity transmitted thorough in passion overcome there are terror and pity transmitted by the elevated expression of the martyr. Who is only aware of God and relieved of all sense of torture thorough his glowing belief. The whole painting style points to the conclusion that Orazio in his early thirties also painted the picture of St. John the Baptist in the Desert, which, at the present time is in the Academy Venice in the same room with two other paintings out of Titian's workshop with the wonderful representation of the Virgin in the Temple and with the one that before was ascribed to Tintoretto. The extremely colour-rich picture of the Doge Venir both the representation and of the portrait is certainly works by Titian. The representation is an incomparable painting produced about 10 years before the time now talked about. This produced masterpiece, an incomparable wonder of sunny and cheerful art! It may be only the figure of the before the temple stairs sitting old one and a pair of heads in the back ground are from the inexperienced Orazio who in this radiating picture of his father included some grey and cold. The Doge Venir was at the time as the St. John produced. Here we can calmly investigate the differences of the two paintings styles although the St. John was produced at a time when the brushstrokes of Orazio where at the calmest, youthful unevenness already completely overcome and the artist had not yet let him self go to the insolence of his workmanship as in his later years`- so is the difference still visible; on the face of The Baptist are some unnecessary ripped apart shadows of the skin colour, Light and half darkness are evenly cold and non translucent the painter clean as such, is not an equal of Titian and still are we powerfully shocked by the glow of the dark inspiration of the repentant prophet as this never occurs by one of the classical cheerful paintings of Titian.
Next to the wholly Dominican in the Gallery Borgese in Rome and the excellent After Dr. Parma entitled picture in the Vienna Court Museum has Orazio Vecellio at this time to which the workmanship testifies painted the only by me known picture which is traditionally and documentarily attributed to him and not his father and because of which it has an undeserved with contempt regarded reputation the picture shows the young Tobias with the archangel and is in the church of Santa Caterina. It sorrowfully is not exhibited in very good lighting. The suspicion is prevalent that Orazio painted the painting as thanks for the healing of his elderly father's eye problem which we know Titian had suffered from and we have to thank these circumstances that Orazio made an exception and with out consideration of the money business marked this one as his personal work. For me is this admitted work of Orazio a priceless treasure, and completely vindicates and confirms the truth of this which I have already suspected before. My attention was made aware of this unicum. The object is in Old Italian art very common and was used by Chima Verrochio and Titian himself occasional as objects for cheerful idyllic designs.
Of the greatest importance for us is in Venice in the Church San Marciale located Tobias picture by Titian. The picture belongs to a group of cheerful and in the ripe age of the artist produced picture only in Venice have I been aware of these kind of devotional pictures in which the delightful figures from the full sun light surrounded in glowing bright colours nearly without shadows portrayed moreover when we also not? See the same by the St. Nicholas in the Church San Sebastiano and the St. John the Almsgiver in the San Giovane Elemosinario to this saintly ones dedicated church.
From an ideal is in the picture of Orazio no talk. Everything is much more serious grandly dramatic shown wistfully is the frightened expression of the to Gabriel up looking youth and the powerful wing beat of the archangel equally the workmanship and the conception are much like the St. John the Baptist. The greatest reserve is probably in the attribution of pictures which in later times came from the workshop of the Vecellio family.
I can only indicate that I am disposed to attribute the origin of the lady in sorrow in the Dresden Gallery to Orazio, and the time of production so to set it in the period of the Martyrdom of St. Lawrence of the Faith and the St. John plus the Tobias. The Lady in Red in Dresden is probably also Orazios but much earlier.
First in the 1569 is probably the remarkable picture of the Antiquarian Strada in Vienna completed I think the same is probably also by Orazio and probably one of his best likenesses the brownish tinge the treatment of the red sleeves and the grey fur has also the nervous strokes, restless and still strong expression of the head attest to this that not the 92 year old Titian but the in full manhood standing son painted this portrait.
Many might have observed the conspicuousness of the few of so called self-portraits of Titian's younger days that are in existence while the ones from his later years are present in greater numbers in the great collections, for us is this puzzle easily solved. Titian was much too objective to bother with the portraying of his own person. In his old age painted him several times his beloved Daughter. [Sorry author two daughters] in Pest we can see her in plain black dress, in Berlin as a young maiden with a bowl of fruit. In the Vienna figure nearly with out clothes, in Dresden finally in her youth and a second time in her ripe age and in all of them is the painting style pure classical in it self, the brush strokes are broad and sure, the half dark is magical, translucent and the by Orazio commonly highly regarded naturalistic reflexes are omitted! The colouring is light translucent and lifts itself in the Berlin masterpiece his daughter as Pomona to a colour harmony.
Completely different was the son. He was when it concerned his father so devoted that he brought it nearly to a complete merger of his own personality in the one of Titian. He, of course, loved to paint the countenance of the old man for which he acquired a new painting style which for the last 15 years of his life for the time of his complete master ship, characterized and stayed with him but which left his father completely untouched as 100 years later the elderly Velazquez so finished Orazio the picture` of his father the self-portrait in Berlin with daring with practically thrown on paint insolent brush strokes which at many places cross each other looking close up and are easily detected. To appreciate the in this way completed paintings one can not stand to close, only in a little distance unravels it self this apparently confused colour chaos. One sees greenish dark pictures whose colours give no pleasure to the eyes but one sees also incomparable thorough living plastic air surrounded figures. The now from Orazio achieved ability is nearly more wonderful as the one which is appearing in Velazqez Menias and in the Hilanderas. In this way painted Orazio on order the now in the Prado exhibited entombment, a picture of lamentation and dread.
There is a smaller less presumptuous greenish composition the same object in the Vienna Court Museum probably in whole from Orazios hand while Leandro Bassano painted the figure of Nicodemos, in the not yet exhibited National Gallery in Pest picture. Owing to at the same time painted Madrid Entombment. In the year 1557 painted Titian as documented a poesy by his own hand, the Diana and Calisto a figure richly colour splendid, classic cheerful, broad and calmly executed composition whose repetition in Vienna Museum and the Lucas Academy in Rome for a long time have been an object of the light and wonderment, where the entombment in the Prado, The Diana on the Burgring are probably comparable masterpieces. In concept and workmanship so completely different that they are impossible to be by the same hand that originated the others. The 82 year old man who made and composed the mythological designs was still living and working in the light filled atmosphere of his youth full years and was unconcerned toward the Italian High Renaissance.
The only 33 years old son who painted the passion pictures in all the upcoming orders of the family firm, in workmanship he was now sufficient. He was a child of a completely different time and it was he who in a great by no one else achievable way. By the demand of his own essence in full measure corresponded to the prevailing art mode. Besides the splendid Antiope which Titian himself claimed to have painted which from the Kings Palace the Prado to France in the Louvre came, so had the workshop of the Vecellio firm in the next few years to deliver the orders of three large historical pictures for Philip the Second in particular in the year 1564 a representation of the last supper in the year 1567 a repetition of the Martyrdom of St. Lawrence finally in the year 1576 an allegorical votive picture the Battle of Lepanto these three paintings should be considered with Orazio as original maker but the first two in the enchorial kept pictures are in not a secure preservation so that one can not say with certainty very much about them.
The remembrance picture of the big Turkish battle Lepanto was the result of a painstakingly precise order since the order was accompanied by a drawing designed by the Spanish painter Coello that was sent to Venice with the order that the painting be exactly like the instructions.
No wonder that the in the Prado hanging painting produced very little enthusiasm in us! Steps one in front of this accident of make-do so are we aware of the extra ordinary position of the large victory angel who on the top part of the picture performs a regular somersault. Otherwise is there very little to admire. Alternately Phillip the Second was not as great a fan of Titian as Emperor Charles V, as the 90 year old Titian made the request to the King to deliver a row of paintings out of the life of St. Lawrence for the escorical was he refused. It is true that the father admitted at the time that he suggested the picture be in the main part painted by his son Orazio. These circumstances are likely to be blamed for the refusal and the money hungry old man autographed since then much more cautiously the by workshop delivered works with the signature that was also the firms trade name.
Upon one in the Church of San Salvador in Venice painted altarpiece are we even reading the inscription "Titianus Fecit" and still are the two compositions, The Annunciation and The Transfiguration of Christ very grand but to the genuine Titian as strange as can possible be. Upon a dark ground appear violently moving dramatic figures draped in long creased rich white garments, not only the concept also the way in which the spirit-full brush strokes have been thrown onto the canvass indicates that this is the work of Orazio Vecellio.
From him is also the little enjoyable Tribute Money in the National Gallery of London even if Titian had put his name under it. It is of no more significance than the emphatic inscription "Titianus Eques-Eques" on the large Christ and Pilatus representing figure in Vienna on the Burgring [Vienna Kunst Historisches Museum] Which by no means can be an authentic work of Titian and also impossible as a work of Orazio.
In a time and regardless for the entire search for fame glory and humanistic sweet talk!!! The painters were no academics but members of the St. Lucas Guild and the signature of the artist nothing more than the trade mark of the firm which attested to the origin from a certain workshop. Titian had in his old age painted a figure which represented Christ with the Tribute Money which is` in the seminar to Coello and through the shining colour splendour proves how the old man until the end was himself true, and how different the style of the father was from that of the son.
As his hundred year came to close Titian thought about this more often. It was his will that his grave marker should be decorated with a painted representation of the Lamentation of Christ.
The grandiose Pieta is in one of the great rooms of the Academy in Venice and points without question to Orazio as the originator. This last labour of love the devoted son granted his father, in the middle of pompous Venetian pictures that are exhibited is the murky picture which at the first glance does not seem to appeal to us. Seen from the immediate closeness it appears unpleasant because of the patchy greenish workmanship but looking at it carefully from a distance then we have to agree that this is one of the purest highest masterpieces of the pathetic school of painting and we have to agree to that with inspiring awe. In the beautiful renaissance ruin lies the naked corpse of the redeemer on the stone floor the upper part of the body is on the left supported by the crouching mother. On the right kneels Hieronymus and on the left is the Mary Magdalene. Everything is very impressive, in the highest grade, dramatic; in the contrast of the gripping still deep, god-devoted pain of the Madonna with the Magdalene in scorching passion.
Orazio has in his later years sometimes not only confined him self to ordered paintings but out of his own impulse he painted many melancholy, deeply profound dark votive pictures. To mention a couple that seem to me that they might be by his own hand -the murky small prayer picture Gethsemane in Madrid and the curious completely black colour sketch of the adoration of the kings in Vienna finally in the Pinacoteck in Munich two pictures of the same manner in particular one in the colour absolutely ineffective in a murky landscape sitting Madonna with a much too big, coarse Christ Child whose elongated, somewhat sharp face represent a by Titian completely unusual type. Then the famous powerful composed touching dramatic Christ Crowned with Thorns in Munich and the one in the Louvre by Titian that which sorrowfully likes most pictures in Munich comes from Titians workshop - but through incompetent restoration has been changed greatly.
Insofar as it is finally possible to give an opinion by the contemplation of reproductions, I would mention the aging and ugly and still exalted world redeemer, in the right hand blessing and in the left a crystal ball this curious the Byzantine concept closest coming and located in the Hermitage, there are also mythological pictures which in comparison with the autograph Poesies of the old man completely differ and are to be attributed to Orazio. Much more characteristic for Orazios idiosyncrasies is the not worthy mythological picture in Vienna court museum which is I take it to represent Hades and Euridike, Nymph and Shepherd, Hades in the person of a shepherd who ruler of the underworld, the mortal which he sits next to who is lying on an animal skin and he is playing for her on a shepherds flute. Figures are completely beautiful and the foreboding face of the naked passion encompassed woman carries the serious features of the Venus in the Galleria Borghese. It is an idyllic love scene but one in the epoch of the renaissance but for such a representation completely unaccustomed sentiment seems to both lovers forebodingly moving also the murky landscape is already hit by a curse and we observe in the background from storm broken oak trees. Out of the picture flows the breath of the tragic curse of the dark punishment. Dark is also the insolent, restless colour execution in which one sees especially dark heavy brown shadows on the naked body portion.
To this belongs the famous picture in the Borghese collection in Rome which is called Venus and Cupid. I have never been able to convince myself that this painting was a work of Titian's. It is to the peculiar preferences of the classical artist much too strange that is as long as I at this time was thinking of Titian; I could not appreciate it and the well deserved fame of this picture. I only then understood when I perceived in myself that the painting was from a much younger Venetian. Now I am no longer hesitating to name Orazio as the originator of the painting. To him points already the restless patchiness, but still a wonderful knowing testifying brush work. The composition reminds one of the pictures out of Titians youthful days and the Allegory of Darvalos in the Prado and the few Madonna’s with holy men in Vienna, Dresden and Paris. But it is natural that Orazio, by an object that was not to his sentiment complimenting, the setting up of the figures was leaning on older pictures by his father.
In the concept are we looking in vain for festive charm? Left of the observer sits a fully clothed unusual, serious and cold Venus whose long face looks much like the already mentioned Madonna and the child figures are large and rough, the same as at the lap of the goddess begging amours who is covering the eyes of the mother and the other one the winged youth who looks at the mother over his shoulder the right side of the painting is covered with figures of a praying and a second bow stretching maiden and would it not be by the showy paint style so would these ones be the most approximate to some of Titians nymphs.
One has to change only the direction of the eyes from the picture to the bright cheerful. In the same room painting representing Calisto and Diana to see the contrast in the painting style between the old Titian and the style which I attribute to his son it is particularly noteworthy that the murky in the same collection exhibited masterpiece which represents the Saviour with the adulteress. It is a figure representation achieved with much nightly colour audaciously and with the highest master lines upon the canvass thrown composition and the highest admiration to be accorded; it is a complete expression of this. What I consider to be the painting style of Orazio Vecellio and I consider it inside the Venetian school decidedly in polarity, it is completely opposite the genuine painter's style of Titian. Christ is here not beautiful. Not easily will one find somewhere a so dramatic such a psychological clever thought true colour scale of different soul expression which are here mirrored in the powerful Pharisees head, and maybe nowhere is the expression of the overpowering shame so shaking as produced in the gestalt of the adulteress.
On top of this is the admirable way the plastic living heads, the human hands with a few daring brush strokes nearly sketch like but completely expressed. Sadly the dark painting and this one is of the cases, it is completely in a non useful way behind glass exhibited and consequently it is only for a few days in a special light that the painting is really visible.
As I have many times already mentioned how both Titian and Orazio died in the same year 1576 in Venice of the plaque. Orazio died with out finishing the for his father designated Pieta. It seems that Orazio was not married. In any case he did not leave a personal heir. To me he appears as a man that was by the thought of the counter reformation completely permeated consumed in the feeling of devotion and piety for his glorious father, willing to have his own fame subjected to that of his creator/father and his love for the one who was crucified in his pictures and he gave the most complete expression to the in the time prevailing and to religious sensitivities devoted Catholics.
Among the art treasures that are preserved at the Vienna Court-Museum there is one that with out question is by Titians own hand the profile picture of a young black clothed man who in praying engrossed the eyes to the heaven directed, the right hand pressing on his heart and in the left hand holding brush and pallet. I am tempted and like to imagine this to be a portrait of Orazio in which the father would have painted his son in this way. This is the image in which my imagination Orazio existed. (The brushes were a later ad on also the painting was a fragment of what was thought to be a Venetian orator and student also in Vienna.) .
Documentary research would probably shed more light on the life of Orazio Vecellio and spread it although it is in retrospect on the whole matter, hardly to be expected that some at a later time published document teach us what and how much of a working part was in the fathers workshop completed by Titians younger son. (Notice the later discovery of the Christ at the Cross in the Escorial documented as by Orazio in Titians late style. Translator) so much is assured, that he often had helped the old father that he represented him often, that he especially was a talented artist and that it would be very strange indeed that only one picture kept in the Catarina Church in Venice the Tobias picture the only one of his 50 long years of life that is a all by himself painted picture! Further on no one can doubt that many out of the family workshop originating works the production of Titians students and assistants are to be thanked for, it is known that Orazio had asserted the first place among them. Further it can not be denied that under the later production of the workshop a row of commonly emphatic pictures in the late style are attached with Titians signature and very distinctly differ from the others - that is the usual painting style of Titian, still wholly quite faithful preserved.
I have with out question overlooked many of the dark, pathetic from an important wholly independent artist completed works. Doubtful ones I might have mistakenly attributed to Orazio. On the whole, no one will contest the existence of this particular group of pictures and the fact that there are sometimes special larger painting compositions existing where the crossing of the bright style of Titian and idiosyncratic painting style of the from me separated and proposed picture group attest to me. That Titian and the originator of these paintings every time worked together on the same painting! Which was probably the case with the presentation of the virgin in the temple and by the faith already the circumstances that ordain that the only to Titian's son Orazio acceptable pictures compare completely with the missing colour charm and with the great and pathetic works out of Titians workshop and admittedly that they belong in one group - points to Orazio as the searched for originator and the assumption is confirmed by the fact that this kind of painting was not produced after the nearly simultaneous dead of both Titian and Orazio.
The earliest pictures of the group which I might feel to backtrack to Orazio are mainly so constructed that Titian must have had amnesia toward his own art if he really painted them. The beginning must preferably be the painting in which titian probably with his advice and also with the design must have been very helpful but with out disturbing the idiosyncrasies of his sons painting style. Much longer is the time until the historical pictures and also the already bright know-how of the young artist is discernible. In his now as it seems completely independent composition is he standing before us as an imitator of the powerful colour design of Michelangelo and the colouring of Titian neither of them was he to master and often are the attempts actually ugly!
First in the time when Orazio reached his thirtieth year are the historical pictures represented in this group which testify to the effect that the originator now has found him and in everything was now a solid master. Soon thereafter he also developed an unusual patchy sketch like but complete technique which in every way, in workmanship of contemporary painting out of the same workshop -decidedly differ - which faithful to the tradition of Titian younger years only separate them self by the broad brush-strokes.
All this has unquestionable convinced me that Orazio Vecellio, Titians younger son was the highly gifted artist who a whole group of exceptional mainly works of Titian's known paintings owe their existence thanks to Orazio. I am completely aware how daring this assumption might appear to some, should it be accepted, so would the fame of Titian and greatness of Titian be no smaller but there has to be a new name included in the greatest of the trail breaking painters of the cinquento, keeping my suspicions no longer secret. So is this the only on the ground that I wanted art friends art historians to see this as a pointer in which we may find the solution to the riddle.
I would be very happy if this from me said is to stimulate the research with the result of giving as sure knowledge the originator of the pictures of the so called late style of Titian and determine for which he was with out question responsible.