Print this page
Venetian painter and draftsman
Titian was an extremely popular and influential painter, developing a painterly style that differed tremendously from contemporary Roman and Florentine styles; he emphasized atmosphere, color, and brushstrokes as he depicted sensual figures, textures (of garments, flesh, etc.), and landscapes in the backgrounds of his paintings. His sensuous mythological scenes showed his ability to depict any hue or texture. Titian's portraits combined incisive, sensitive characterizations with an opulent treatment of accessories, eventually developing into the spare, official style that inspired other Italians, and also Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, and others. In his later paintings, what appears from a distance as form and color prove upon closer inspection to be blobs of paint, thumb marks, and brush scratches. Titian explored the potential of oil paint, experimenting with its expressive as much as its representational possibilities.