Portrait of a Venetian Gentleman (c.1510 – c.1515) by Titian

Portrait of a Venetian Gentleman - Titian - c.1510 - c.1515

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a Venetian Gentleman
Datec.1510 - c.1515
Dimensions76 x 64 cm
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationNational Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, US

About Portrait of a Venetian Gentleman

The artwork titled “Portrait of a Venetian Gentleman” is attributed to Titian, an illustrious artist of the High Renaissance movement, and it is estimated to have been created between circa 1510 and circa 1515. This oil on canvas masterpiece measures approximately 76 by 64 centimeters, exemplifying the portrait genre. It is currently housed within the esteemed collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, United States.

In this refined portrait, the subject – a male figure of Venetian descent – is depicted against a muted background that allows his visage to command the viewer’s attention. His expression is stoic, with a focused gaze that seems to engage the observer. The gentleman is adorned in the dark attire typical of the period, conveying an air of solemnity and distinction. Notably, his hand delicately rests upon what appears to be a green cloth or book, a common motif in Renaissance portraiture that often symbolizes the subject’s learnedness or social status. The clarity of the figure is juxtaposed against the softer, perhaps even suggestive, architectural landscape visible through a window on the left side of the composition, providing context and depth to the piece.

Titian’s masterful brushwork is evident in the rendering of the textures and fabrics, while the use of light and shadow imbues the portrait with a lifelike vitality. The presence of an inscription, “V.V.”, further adds to the enigma and debate about the identity of the portrayed Venetian gentleman. Overall, this work stands as an exemplary piece of Titian’s portraiture skill, capturing the essence of an individual and the aesthetic ideals of the High Renaissance.

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