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The Earlier Work of Titian Part 4

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[35] The enlarged second edition, with the profile portrait of Arios...o...b.. t.i.tian, did not appear until 1532. Among the additions then made were the often-quoted lines in which the poet, enumerating the greatest painters of the time, couples t.i.tian with Leonardo, Andrea Mantegna, Gian Bellino, the two Dossi, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, and Raffael (33rd canto, 2nd ed.).

[36] [Greek: Philostratou Eikonon Erotes.]

[37] Let the reader, among other things of the kind, refer to Rubens's _Jardin a Amour_, made familiar by so many repet.i.tions and reproductions, and to Van Dyck's _Madone aux Perdrix_ at the Hermitage (see Portfolio: _The Collections of Charles I._). Rubens copied, indeed, both the _Worship of Venus_ and the _Baccha.n.a.l_, some time between 1601 and 1608, when the pictures were at Rome. These copies are now in the Museum at Stockholm. The realistic vigour of the _Baccha.n.a.l_ proved particularly attractive to the Antwerp master, and he in more than one instance derived inspiration from it. The ultra-realistic _Bacchus seated on a Barrel_, in the Gallery of the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, contains in the chief figure a p.r.o.nounced reminiscence of t.i.tian's picture; while the unconventional att.i.tude of the amorino, or Bacchic figure, in attendance on the G.o.d, is imitated without alteration from that of the little toper whose action Vasari so explicitly describes.

[38] Vasari's simple description is best: "Una donna nuda che dorme, tanto bella che pare viva, insieme con altre figure."

[39] Moritz Thausing's _Albrecht Durer_, Zweiter Band, p. 14.

[40] Crowe and Cavalcaselle, _Life and Times of t.i.tian_, vol. i. p. 212.

[41] It appears to the writer that this masterpiece of colour and reposeful charm, with its wonderful gleams of orange, pale turquoise, red, blue, and golden white, with its early signature, "Ticia.n.u.s F.,"

should be placed not later than this period. Crowe and Cavalcaselle a.s.sign it to the year 1530, and hold it to be the _Madonna with St.

Catherine_, mentioned in a letter of that year written by Giacomo Malatesta to Federigo Gonzaga at Mantua. Should not this last picture be more properly identified with our own superb _Madonna and Child with St.

John and St. Catherine_, No. 635 in the National Gallery, the style of which, notwithstanding the rather Giorgionesque type of the girlish Virgin, shows further advance in a more sweeping breadth and a larger generalisation? The latter, as has already been noted, is signed "Tician."

[42] "Tizian und Alfons von Este," _Jahrbuch der Koniglich Preussischen Kunstsammlungen_, Funfzehnter Band, II. Heft, 1894.

[43] Crowe and Cavalcaselle, _Life and Times of t.i.tian_, vol. i. pp.

237-240.

[44] On the circular base of the column upon which the warrior-saint rests his foot is the signature "Ticia.n.u.s faciebat MDXXII." This, taken in conjunction with the signature "t.i.tia.n.u.s" on the Ancona altar-piece painted in 1520, tends to show that the line of demarcation between the two signatures cannot be absolutely fixed.

[45] Lord Wemyss possesses a repet.i.tion, probably from t.i.tian's workshop, of the _St. Sebastian_, slightly smaller than the Brescia original. This cannot have been the picture catalogued by Vanderdoort as among Charles I.'s treasures, since the latter, like the earliest version of the _St. Sebastian_, preceding the definitive work, showed the saint tied not to a tree, but to a column, and in it the group of St. Roch and the Angel was replaced by the figures of two archers shooting.

[46] Ridolfi, followed in this particular by Crowe and Cavalcaselle, sees in the upturned face of the _St. Nicholas_ a reflection of that of Laoc.o.o.n in the Vatican group.

[47] It pa.s.sed with the rest of the Mantua pictures into the collection of Charles I., and was after his execution sold by the Commonwealth to the banker and dealer Jabach for 120. By the latter it was made over to Louis XIV., together with many other masterpieces acquired in the same way.

[48] Crowe and Cavalcaselle, _Life and Times of t.i.tian_, vol. i. pp.

298, 299.

[49] The victory over the Turks here commemorated was won by Baffo in the service of the Borgia Pope, Alexander VI., some twenty-three years before. This gives a special significance to the position in the picture of St. Peter, who, with the keys at his feet, stands midway between the Bishop and the Virgin. We have seen Baffo in one of t.i.tian's earliest works (_circa_ 1503) recommended to St. Peter by Alexander VI. just before his departure for this same expedition.

[50] It has been impossible in the first section of these remarks upon the work of the master of Cadore to go into the very important question of the drawings rightly and wrongly ascribed to him. Some attempt will be made in the second section, to be ent.i.tled _The Later Work of t.i.tian_, to deal summarily with this branch of the subject, which has been placed on a more solid basis since Giovanni Morelli disentangled the genuine landscape drawings of the master from those of Domenico Campagnola, and furnished a firm basis for further study.

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