A Knight of Malta (1510 – 1515) by Titian

A Knight of Malta - Titian - 1510 - 1515

Artwork Information

TitleA Knight of Malta
Date1510 - 1515
Dimensions64 x 80 cm
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationUffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

About A Knight of Malta

The artwork titled “A Knight of Malta,” credited to the illustrious artist Titian, is believed to have been crafted between the years 1510 and 1515. This oil on canvas masterpiece measures 64 by 80 centimeters and is a testament to the High Renaissance art movement. The genre of this piece is a portrait, and it is currently hosted at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

The artwork presents the solemn portrait of a man, likely an esteemed member of the Knights of Malta given the title and the distinctive emblem visible on his attire. The subject is depicted with a penetrating gaze, lending a sense of depth and complexity to his visage. His facial features are detailed with subtlety, and the soft lighting accentuates the contours of his face, beard, and the drapery of his clothing.

His attire is marked by a stark contrast between the rich black of his robe and the delicate ivory of the garment beneath, which seems to be a fine linen or silk. The texture of the fabrics is rendered with meticulousness, from the sheen on the lighter garment to the intricate, almost imperceptible pattern on the darker robe. The knight’s hand elegantly holds what appear to be prayer beads, suggesting a sense of piety and introspection.

The composition is deceptively simple, focusing entirely on the figure against a dark, indistinct background. Yet, it is this very simplicity that serves to enhance the psychological intensity of the portrait, inviting viewers to ponder the inner world of the subject. In the grand tradition of the High Renaissance, Titian has created not merely a likeness, but a potent symbol of human character and emotion.

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