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Titian [Kindle Edition]

Sheila Hale
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $39.99
Kindle Price: $12.99
You Save: $27.00 (68%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

The first definitive biography of the master painter in more than a century, Titian: His Life is being hailed as a "landmark achievement" for critically acclaimed author Sheila Hale (Publishers Weekly). Brilliant in its interpretation of the 16th-century master's paintings, this monumental biography of Titian draws on contemporary accounts and recent art historical research and scholarship, some of it previously unpublished, providing an unparalleled portrait of the artist, as well as a fascinating rendering of Venice as a center of culture, commerce, and power. Sheila Hale's Titian is destined to be this century's authoritative text on the life of greatest painter of the Italian High Renaissance.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In her excellent biography, Hale charts Titian’s stylistic development through the story of his life and of the century in which he became the most famous artist in Europe. The book includes interesting chapters on the principal characters and historical events. Only half of Titian’s 500–600 precious paintings survive; the rest were destroyed by vandalism, theft, fire, flood, shipwreck, earthquake, and war. Titian had intelligence, poise, and wit, and he displayed a forceful, self-assured, shrewd and charismatic personality. His art revealed genius for drama and mystery, a balance of dramatic force and deep feeling, and penetrating understanding of human nature. He had an unrivaled mastery of using blacks, whites, and flesh tones; modeling with light and shade; and creating exquisitely painted hands, and an interest in the personality and status of his sitters. Hale’s thorough research, judicious examination of evidence, lucid narrative style, and perceptive and illuminating interpretations of the major works are worthy of her great subject. Her detailed descriptions effectively evoke the paintings’ iconographic meaning. She writes of The Assumption, Titian’s Virgin is propelled upward to heaven as though by her own spiraling momentum and is surrounded by a swarm of cavorting baby angels. And she concludes, If the Venus of Urbino is about flirtation and the Farnese Danaë is about the moment of penetration, the Danaë Titian, painted for King Philip, is about the climax of passion. --Jeffrey Meyers


'Crammed with new or expanded or re-thought information about this stubbornly mysterious giant. Impressive ... She shines a light on the mysterious conflict of energies that makes his genius so difficult to encapsulate. Hale is also an enthusiastic collector of characters and her descriptions of the band of Renaissance crackpots who constituted Titian's employers result in some of the book's most entertaining stretches' Sunday Times 'Evokes the sensuality of Titian's working methods and provides subtle insights into his enigmatic last paintings ... a scrupulous and exhaustive account that is informed by the latest scholarship, but admirably free of academic cant ... her book provides by far the richest account yet of Titian's interactions with the city's labyrinthine social fabric' Daily Telegraph 'Magnificent ... the elegance and energy of her narrative ... a born biographer's eye for detail. This is the first serious attempt for 100 years at encompassing Titian's life. Its combination of the eminently readable and the profoundly authentic is remarkable' Literary Review 'A huge and exceptional new study of the painter ... a superb portrait of the artist - an example of measured scholarship, judicious opinion, and telling framing detail' Guardian 'The depth of her research is both impressive and astonishing ... enriched by vivid anecdotes and gossipy snippets ... it all makes for compelling reading' Independent 'Scholarly, erudite, endlessly inquisitive and as clear as can be ... many of the bit-part players in the book are brilliantly vivid' Mail on Sunday 'Hale makes a splendid case here for the artist and his context intertwined, displaying a backdrop every bit as flashy and colourful as his most celebrated paintings... Hale's clear-eyed approach to her subject serves her particularly well in these instances, which illuminate both the man and his art' Independent on Sunday

Product Details

  • File Size: 5409 KB
  • Print Length: 901 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 006059876X
  • Publisher: Harper (November 20, 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007HBT8ZI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,159 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Biography of Titian and 15th Century Venice January 5, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Sheila Hale is an expert on Venice and the Renaissance. Her expertise is obvious in Titian: His Life, a biography of Titian and the 15th Century Venice where he lived. And what a life it was - long, productive, and during very interesting times. Titian was born shortly before Columbus discovered the New World and lived during the Ottoman invasions of Europe, the Protestant challenge to the Church, and other wars and political intrigues.

The book is very interesting and well written. In a book of nearly 800 pages, it is perhaps inevitable that some of the information will be of more interest to the specialist than to the casual student of the Renaissance. Nevertheless, one gains a real sense for Titian and for life in Venice during the 1500's.

Unfortunately there are two defects in the book's design. The index is incomplete and difficult to use. The color plates of Titian's paintings are grouped together rather than being reproduced in the text where the painting is discussed. Other paintings are mentioned but never reproduced so it is difficult to see how Titian may have influenced, or been influenced by, other artists.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling journey through 16th century Venice January 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was tremendously fun to read. The evocation of 16th century Venice in all of its glory and horror was amazing. Ms Hale gives us an insider's view of Venetian culture, the complex and intertwined religion and politics of the era, and art in the 1500's. There are myriad fascinating verbal portraits and depictions of popes, kings and emperors, and many smaller figures: the mercenary turned pirate, the gang rape of Venice's leading courtesan, the plague that takes the lives of 25% of Venice's population, Titian's best friend who seems to have served as self-appointed chief gadfly for all of Europe. This is a time of great ferment with the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, the heights of the Hapsburg and Venetian empires, and some of the last echoes of the Crusades in the battles between Europe and the Ottoman empire. Titian's role as a painter to the highest levels of society meant that all of this plays into his life story. The pace of Ms Hale's narrative is often breathtaking.

The role of Titian's art and the relationships he had (or didn't have) with his contemporaries Michelangelo and Leonardo and the distinctions between the Florentine and Venetian styles of painting are discussed. Many of Titian's painting are dissected and it is tragic to hear so often of their loss or destruction over the centuries since his death or even earlier. It's fascinating to hear what modern science has to say about their composition. An appendix listing where one can see remaining Titian's around the world may be of interest to travellers.

While I'm no artist to judge the quality of the artistic interpretation, Ms Hale's discussion of the art seems appropriate for a general audience and resonates with my own reactions to the sadly few Titian's I've seen.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Titian is the monumental new biography of the Venetian Renaissance master by Sheila Hale. The huge biography (736 pages of text) in the hardback edition is a richly evocative and detailed look at Titian's long life but also the life of Venice. The artist was born Tiziano Velecci in the Dolomite Mountains near Venice. As a country bumpkin lad he was apprenticed to the artists Giovanni and Gentile Ballini. Titian soon moved far beyond his mentor in his artistic genius. During his life the stately looking artist would become the favorite painter of such monarchs as Charles V the Holy Roman Empire and his son Phillip II of Spain. Titian was also wooed to paint portraits and religious works by the Vatican. He was a favorite of poples Clement VII and Paul III . His many art works were noted for their brilliance of color; realistic detail and the beauty of such lovely ladies as the Venice of Urbano and several paintings of the Holy Family; mythological subjects and countless paintings of seductive young ladies. Titian wed twice producing three children; one of whom became a priest. His wife Cecilia died young and we are ignorant of the name of his second wife. Titian was second only to Micheangelo as a Renaissance artist. Titian did not like leaving his Venetiia studio and employed many apprentice painters. His favorite friend was Arentio the iconoclastic author and critic of the Roman Catholic Church. Titian was a leader of Counter-Reformation art. During his nearly century of life the city of Venus was threatened by invaders from France; the Ottoman Empire and Protestants but remained a powerful independent republic. Toitian enjoyed the good life investing in real estate; lumber manufacture and obtaining rich commissions for his art. He could be stingy and had difficulties dealing with his children. Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Titian February 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Still reading this excellent, extremely well researched book Would reccomend it to anyone interest in the Visual Art
or history of Venice. Titian is more than Titians paintings schooling, and life. "Titian" is about Venice, Italy...its
history, politics, social structure, and place in the world of Europe for several centures, as well as how Titian
advanced how people and landscapes are seen, with fewer strokes of the brush, and an appreciation for history,
womlen, and politics. Hale
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disapointing
Without pictures of the referenced art, this E Book is not worth the effort of reading a disjointed and rambling biography which provides little insight into the artist as a man or... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Norm katz
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb History of the man and his times
This work is an excellent examination of Titian's work and those of his peers. It also gives a stunning view into the world and society that he lived and worked in Italy at the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Robert K. Alldredge
4.0 out of 5 stars Because so little is actually know about the common place ...
Because so little is actually know about the common place of Titian's life much of the book gives an elaborate picture of the world's political environment of the time. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Fritz M Hasbrouck
3.0 out of 5 stars The book definitely gave me a better understanding of the era
This book is as much about the Hapsburg empire as it is about Titian. In many cases the author relates too much information. Read more
Published 3 months ago by AGUSTA agustsson
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLY MARVELOUS
!A marvelous and informative read. Almost a novel in the context of reading of art history in the times of Titian. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Donald R. Shipman
5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone interested in History, and the Arts, ...
For anyone interested in History, and the Arts, this is the book to read. The author has a refreshing way of presenting history . Read more
Published 4 months ago by F. Goldsmith
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
A great book for art aficionados, but your thirst for the politics, intrigues and history of Venice and Europe will be also quenched. Read more
Published 4 months ago by PvlCzk
5.0 out of 5 stars TIZIANO IS TOPS
Fantastic trip through 1600s italia, esp venezia. You get to meet lots of old friends here. Written elegantly and with respect.
Published 4 months ago by unsworthyeti
5.0 out of 5 stars Titian
This is the definitive life of Titian and also provides a wide view of Italian life and politics at the time
Published 4 months ago by Sanders
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful book about Titian's life his painting and Venetian history
a wonderful book about Titian's life his painting and Venetian history. It is best read with some kind of internet device at hand to look up the paintings under discussion which... Read more
Published 5 months ago by David Greenberg
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