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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The Pentecost is a late renaissance and religious work of art originally done by Titian. Titian painted the art for the main altar of a Venice Church.

It is dated back in the year 1541 and depicts the Holy Spirit descending upon the Disciples that had hidden after the death of Jesus. The painting clearly shows and represents the Holy Spirit in form of a dove while God, on the other hand, is represented using the image of Fire. The initial painting was afterwards ruined and he had to repaint it after a long litigation process. The second painting has been preserved to present. The artist Titian is said to have been gifted by nature with qualities of intelligence and judgment that are crucial for any work of art including painting. He copied the initial technique of Giorgione of giving the art softness and greater relief and used colours to achieve this. He tinted the painting colours with the same crude and soft colours that are shown by nature.

This particular art, was also painted with the incredible care he was known for and a certain finesse which made the art stand out. He used large and bolder types of brush-stroke while painting. This can be evidenced by the fact that the original painting cannot be clearly seen from a close-up distance but from afar disturbance the work is seen perfectly as was the intention of the artist. Most are times he did repainting back of his own art with colour many times to preserve its natural look indicating how devoted he was to his art.

Titian was devoted to the style of painting which used colours and perfected this in making him and made his art look alive. The Pentecost was not an exception and in this particular art, he used oil to paint the Holy Spirit descending upon the apostles. The oils used brought about the different colours in the picture. Note that during the late renaissance period painting on a canvas was considered extremely difficult, nevertheless, this part of work was painted on a canvas.

The planning process for the art involved organization of the composition and arrangement of this particular art on a paper in various ways. This is to see how this particular composition turned out. He also researched and studied other religious arts and sketched whatever was helpful which made it easier for him to paint the Pentecost. As earlier stated the painting was done for a church in Venice. Therefore, the first original Pentecost was commissioned by the friars of Santo Spirito who were located in Venice and which was the main panel for the main altar.

Shortly afterwards the first paint was ruined and a litigation process with the friars followed resulting in a repaint of the same. Titian’s second copy of Pentecost was then taken and hang over the altar in San Nazaro church located in Brescia. The art is currently a private collection. There were two people who unknowingly influenced the technique used in these particular type of work. They are Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione with the latter having played an impact in the preparation stages that were then adapted by Titian that is sketching the composition before the actual painting.