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Titian: His Life by Sheila Hale
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Titian: His Life (edition 2012)

by Sheila Hale

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771232,689 (4.25)8
Member:rockhurst72
Title:Titian: His Life
Authors:Sheila Hale
Info:Harper (2012), Edition: 1st Printing of 1st Edition, Hardcover, 864 pages
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Titian: His Life by Sheila Hale

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I love this modern age when books may be ordered over the ether; it means that living in a quiet hamlet, such as Hemsby, does not impede one's ability to read the best literature available. It does, however, have one problem: the books are not always as one imagines them to be.

I saw the title, "Titian His Life" and I expected one of those books crammed with good illustrations and half a dozen words. when it arrived, thanks to a postie with a newly acquired hernia, I was amazed. This is a serious piece of historical biography and my first thought was, "Do I, as an interested party, rather than a serious student of the arts, want to read such a hefty biography?"

Fortunately, I am a tight wad and, having bought it, I was not about to waste my money: thank goodness for meanness! This is one of the best books that I have had the privilege of reading in many a month. Not only does one get a detailed, but never boring biography of Titian, but also an insight into life in sixteenth century Europe. This book adds to my understanding of both the history of the period and the significance of, not just Titian, but also the other luminaries of the age.

I would imagine that this book would be considered essential reading for anyone with even a passing interest in the history of painting, but if that is not you, please do not be put off from undertaking this monster book: it is an effort that will reward all who so do and I would like to thank Sheila Hale for a fortnight of pure pleasure! ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Feb 4, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006059876X, Hardcover)

Born in the mountains above Venice in the late fifteenth century, Tiziano Vecellio—or Titian—was the greatest painter of the Venetian High Renaissance. A poetic visionary and a technical master of oils, he painted everything, from frescoes and grand altarpieces to mythological stories and portraits—works described by his contemporaries as "mirrors of nature."

Sheila Hale's rich biography is the first since 1877 to examine all contemporary accounts of Titian's life and work as well as recent art historical scholarship, some of it previously unpublished. Her book charts the extraordinary transformation of Titian's style: from the radiant, minutely realized masterpieces of his youth, to the more freely painted work of his middle years, to the dark, tragic, sometimes terrifying visions of his old age. Drawing on the latest scientific examinations of his paintings, Hale seeks to explain the evolution of his methods and his art. In doing so, she also gives many different voices—from Titian's lifetime to today—free reign to explore, praise, and sometimes doubt his genius.

When Titian died in 1576, in his late eighties, he had spent the whole of his working life in Venice—the most celebrated city in Europe—traveling as little as possible despite the clamor for his presence at the great courts of the continent. He had witnessed wars, Ottoman invasions, and the rising Protestant threat to the Catholic Church. He had become the favored painter of both Charles V—the most powerful man in the world—and his son, Philip II of Spain, who became Titian's most important patron.

Sheila Hale's masterly biography presents Titian through the lens of the turbulent times in which he lived and explores how this innovative sixteenth-century master conveyed in his paintings a kind of truth that few other artists have been able to communicate, which has fascinated Titian's admirers and followers ever since.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:52 -0400)

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A biography of the Venetian artist, Titian and the evolution of his paintings.

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