Tiziano Vecelli or Titian, was born in Italy sometime between 1488 and 1490. A master artist, his versatility and exuberance stand almost unparalleled in art history. He constantly reinvented himself, and his works are marked by a freshness and grandeur that retained its consistency, while exploring new terrain
At the tender age of ten, Titian was apprenticed to mosaicist Sebastian Zuccato in Venice. Four of five years later, he began to work in the studio of Giovanni Bellini. Titianís earliest work is believed to be a fresco of Hercules in the Morosini Palace. He worked on his talent in painting frescos, challenging himself and constantly refining his skills. His later work at Pandua, in the Carmelite Church, is indeed superbly executed.
In 1516, Bellini died. Titian was left the undisputed head of the Venetian School for the next 60 years.
The period from 1516 to 1530, was Titianís most artistically fulfilling. He disengaged himself from the tradition of his early years, and attempted more complex and monumental paintings. In 1518, he produced the Assumption of the Virgin, for the high altar of the Church of the Frai. It was a brilliantly executed work, with gorgeous color and superb organization. The Virgin Mary being received into Heavenly order is a theme that has been painted time and again. In Titianís work, it is given an unsurpassable class and style.
In 1530, he painted another great work: The Beneath of St. Peter of Verona.
During this period, he also composed half-length figures and busts of young women.
In the period between 1530 and 1550, Titianís work became more dramatic. He painted the Battle of Cadore; a work that portrays tumult and heroism.
During this time, he also began painting reclining Venuses. Some of these paintings are The Venus of Urbino of Uffizi, Venus and Love, Venus and the Organ Player.
The Italian painter also painted portraits that are heralded as works as skillful as those of Rembrandt and VelŠsquez . Titianís famous portraits are La Bella, a portrait of Paul III of Naples, and a series of King Charles V. His portrait of Philip II in 1550 played a part in helping the Prince win the hand of Queen Mary.
Titianís last paintings, those he painted from 1550 onwards, up to his death, are works of a perfectionist. Of these, Crowning with Thorns, Pilgrims of Emmaus, Rape of Europa, are notable.
In 1576, on the 27th of August, Titian, one of the greatest Italian painters, succumbed to the plague that had seized Venice.