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Titian was a deep thinker whose life remains well documented through letters and references from across the papal states of Italy
Many of the Renaissance members have little or no attributed quotes because of the length of time that has passed since their careers finished. Titian, however, has been researched in great detail on several occasions and this has left a wealth of information about his life and also several attributed quotes which are listed below.
One key factor to the scale of research that has been completed on his career is that many of his finest paintings are found in some of the most prestigious art museums and galleries in the world. Beyond his artwork, he is also considered a highly respected and influential artist, adding more opportunity to connect his work with those who came before and after within Venice, the Papal States of Italy and also the European continent as a whole. His prominence in art institutions like the National Gallery in London has meant there has been no shortage of finance available to promote his work through high profile exhibitions.
Those looking to understand more about the great masters like Titian should also check out the lists of quotes by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. Secondly, if you want to see how this deep thinking individual from near Venice (he moved to the city at nine years old) would turn his thoughts into art, then take a look at the Titian paintings section which contains nearly one hundred of his most significant work in this medium.
Titian was vying with Giorgione to be the king of Venetian art and would later be a key influence on the three most influential post-Renaissance artists, namely Velázquez, Rubens and Rembrandt. American artist Willem de Kooning would famously claim that oil paint was invented to depict flesh and would single out Titian as the greatest master of that from all those who have impressed from the Middle Ages up to the 21st century. It is also accepted that the highly skilled figurative artist, Edgar Degas, was also someone who took ideas from Titian's work into his own career.
Famous Quotes by Titian (Tiziano Vecelli)
A good painter needs only three colours: black, white and red.
It is not bright colors but good drawing that makes figures beautiful.
He who improvises can never make a perfect line of poetry.
The painter must always seek the essence of things, always represent the essential characteristics and emotions of the person he is painting...
Painting done under pressure by artists without the necessary talent can only give rise to formlessness, as painting is a profession that requires peace of mind.
Not every painter has a gift for painting, in fact, many painters are disappointed when they meet with difficulties in art. Painting done under pressure by artists without the necessary talent can only give rise to formlessness, as painting is a profession that requires peace of mind. The painter must always seek the essence of things, always represent the essential characteristics and emotions of the person he is painting.
From the example of the past, the man of the present acts prudently so as not to imperil the future.
Those who are compelled to paint by force, without being in the necessary mood, can produce only ungainly works, because this profession requires an unruffled temper.
I think I am beginning to learn something about painting.
Art is stronger than nature
Quotes on Titian (Tiziano Vecelli)
Whilst being outside the triumverate of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael who continue to dominate the media, with regards the different stages of the Renaissance, most art historians and knowledgeable followers of this period would place Titian within this bracket. Some of the most interesting and insightful views on Titian are listed below.
...if this man [Titian] had been in any way assisted by art and design, as he is by nature, and above all in counterfeiting the life, no one could do more or work better, for he has a fine spirit and a very beautiful and lively manner...
Titian, having adorned Venice, or rather all Italy and other parts of the world, with excellent paintings, well merits to be loved and respected by artists, and is in many things to be admired and imitated also, as one who has produced, and is producing, works of infinite merit; nay, such as must endure while the memory of illustrious men shall remain.
Michelangelo and Vasari, going one day to visit Tiziano in the Belvedere [in Rome, 1546], saw in a picture that he [Titian] had executed at that time a nude woman representing Danae, who had in her lap Jove transformed into a rain of gold; and they praised it much, as one does in the painter's presence. After they had left him, discoursing of Tiziano's method, [Michelangelo] Buonarroti commended it not a little, saying that his coloring and his manner much pleased him, but that it was a pity that in Venice men did not learn to draw well from the beginning, and that those painters did not pursue a better method in their studies.. ..And in fact this is true, for the reason that he who has not drawn much nor studied the choicest ancient and modern works, cannot work well from memory by himself or improve the things that he copies from life, giving them the grace and perfection wherein art goes beyond the scope of nature, which generally produces some parts that are not beautiful.