Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

about 1488-1576

Birth and Death

Born between 1477-1488 in Pieve di Cadore, Italy

Died 8/27/1576 in Venice, Italy


  • Age 9- joined workshop of Sebastiano Zuccati, mosaicist, with brother Francesco
  • Studied under Giovanni Bellini with other student Giorgione, and worked with Giorgione on frescoes at the German Merchant's Exchange


  • Home in Venice, Italy
  • Spent time in Rome, Italy from September 1545-June 1546 and in Augsburg, Germany from January-October 1548 and in October 1550
  • 1525-married Cecelia of Cadore; they had 2 sons in 1524 and 1525, and 2 daughters, one of whom survived
  • 1530-traveled to Bologna, Italy to see Charles V coronated
  • 1531-rented the Casa Grande, a large palace that became his home
  • Visited Rome and used scenes from there as inspiration for some of his masterpieces
  • Painted in Augsburg for Charles V and Phillip ll
  • Died in his palace in Venice

Titian's Art

  • Created paintings and frescoes
  • Known for mythological and religious paintings, and also portraits
  • Some examples of Titian's art: Sacred and Profane Love, Venus of Urbino, Christ before Pilate, Diana and Callisto


Titian's patrons included:

  • Roman emperor Charles V and his family the Hapsburgs-most important patrons
  • the Gonzagas of Paris
  • Phillip ll of Spain
  • the Duke of Urbino

Titian in the Renaissance

Titian relates closely to two of the Renaissance "isms":

  • Capitalism-He was so wealthy from his paintings that he lived in an enormous palace in Venice
  • Secularism-His paintings were often about non religious subjects, as he was known for both his mythological paintings and portraits. An example would be his multiple paintings of the goddess Venus.

Titian's "Assumption of the Virgin"

Click to see original from Artstor:

About this painting

  • Name: Assumption of the Virgin
  • Created 1516-1518
  • Can be seen at the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice, Italy


This painting shows the Virgin Mary rising into heaven. Her arms are out as she looks up to God, who is up above her, and she is surrounded by a cloud with angels everywhere on it. Men and apostles stand on the ground below her, pushing against each other and reaching up toward Mary.

Significance and connections to the Renaissance

  • "Revolutionary visual qualities" were controversial
  • Outstanding color, show of movement, and depiction of Mary
  • Titian's first important religious piece

This painting is most closely connected to the Renaissance ideal of secularism. This is because although it is religious, it displays non-religious ideas by clearly highlighting the beautiful feminine figure of Mary and showing the scene of apostles on the ground looking slightly troubled and chaotic instead of calm and full of awe.

Why I chose this painting

I think this painting is interesting mostly because I think its shape and the colors used in it are beautiful, but also because even though it is a religious painting, it was controversial at the time of its creation because of what it showed.


"Titian." International Dictionary of Art and Artists. Gale, 1990. Biography in Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

"Titian." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

"Titian." Authors and Artists for Young Adults. Vol. 70. Detroit: Gale, 2006. Biography in Context. Web. 16 Nov. 2013.

"Titian." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Biography in Context. Web. 16 Nov. 2013.

Titian. Assumption of the Virgin. 1516-1518. Basilica Di Santa Maria Gloriosa Dei Frari, Venice, Italy. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. ARTstor. Web. 16 Nov. 2013.