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Gipsy Madonna

Titianca. 1510

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

The title of the painting became established at an early date and has traditionally been retained. It refers to the fact that this Madonna is of an unusually dark type. Here the young Titian is still closely modelling his Madonna on those of his teacher Giovanni Bellini. Typical of Bellini’s artistic repertoire are the distinctive motif of the fabric hung in the background, the view of a Venetian landscape and the balanced triangular composition. The colours of the main motif return gently and a shade lighter in the landscape, an artistic choice that gives both areas – the intimate closeness of the devotional motif and the idyllic landscape – a prevailing mood of unity. This had also been one of the formal principles of Titian’s teacher. The younger artist emancipated himself in another respect: his special ability to model and characterise the volume of the bodies and the surface of the objects using minimal nuances of colour, sparse white highlights and subdued shadow distinguished him from his Venetian contemporaries, among them Giorgione, who also studied in Bellini’s workshop. © Cäcilia Bischoff, Masterpieces of the Picture Gallery. A Brief Guide to the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna 2010

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Details

  • Title: Gipsy Madonna
  • Creator: Tiziano Vecellio,called Titian
  • Date Created: ca. 1510
  • Style: Italian Renaissance
  • Provenance: Collection of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm
  • Physical Dimensions: w835 x h655 cm (without frame)
  • Inventory Number: GG 95
  • Artist Biography: A biographer related a telling story about Titian: Emperor Charles V once picked up a brush for him, to which Titian responded, "Sire, I am not worthy of such a servant." The Emperor replied, "Titian is worthy to be served by Caesar." Only Michelangelo's closeness with the popes compares. Legend suggests that at age nine Titian began training in Venice. He studied with Bellini, but Giorgione's influence was decisive: Titian's forms became larger, treatment of light subtler, and his mood gentler. In 1516 Titian became painter to the Venetian republic, and in 1533 Charles V named him court painter. Roman painting could match the grandeur of his forms, but Titian's brilliant, expressive color was unprecedented. Titian's portraits combined incisive, sensitive characterizations with an opulent treatment of accessories, eventually developing into the official style that inspired Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, and many artists of the 1800s.After 1555 Titian painted mythological works for Philip II of Spain, rising to new heights in creating sensuous flesh, with colors flowing in harmony rather than contrasting boldly as in his youth. What from a distance appear to be magical combinations of form and color prove upon closer inspection to be blobs of paint, thumb marks, and brush scratches. Titian used oil paint for itself, exploring its expressive rather than representational possibilities. ©J. Paul Getty Trust
  • Type: paintings
  • External Link: http://www.khm.at/en/collections/picture-gallery
  • Medium: Oil on Wood

Additional Items

Gipsy Madonna (Supplemental)

Gipsy Madonna (Supplemental)

Gipsy Madonna (Supplemental)

Gipsy Madonna (Supplemental)

Gipsy Madonna (Supplemental)

Gipsy Madonna (Supplemental)

Gipsy Madonna (Supplemental)

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