La Schiavona (c. 1510) by Titian

La Schiavona - Titian - c. 1510

Artwork Information

TitleLa Schiavona
Datec. 1510
Current LocationNational Gallery, London

About La Schiavona

“La Schiavona” (c. 1510) is a renowned portrait by the Italian Renaissance master Titian (Tiziano Vecellio). The painting is notable for its depiction of an unidentified woman, often referred to as “La Schiavona,” which translates to “the Dalmatian woman.” This title suggests that the sitter might have been from the Dalmatian coast, which was part of the Venetian Republic at the time.

The portrait is celebrated for its detailed rendering and the psychological depth it conveys of the subject. Titian’s use of color, light, and texture, as well as his skilled brushwork, are evident in this work, showcasing his mastery in portraying human figures with a vivid sense of life and character.

One of the most striking features of “La Schiavona” is the inclusion of a parapet, on which the sitter’s arms rest, and a small relief portrait bust, which appears to be a depiction of the sitter herself, seen from the side. This innovative compositional element adds a layer of complexity to the portrait, suggesting a narrative or symbolic significance that has been the subject of scholarly interpretation.

“La Schiavona” is held in the National Gallery, London, where it is part of the permanent collection, allowing viewers to appreciate firsthand the talent and creativity of one of the Renaissance’s greatest painters.

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