Self-portrait (c.1567) by Titian

Self-portrait - Titian - c.1567

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Artwork Information

Dimensions86 x 65 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About Self-portrait

The artwork is a self-portrait by the esteemed artist Titian, believed to have been created around 1567. Employing oil on canvas, this exemplary piece measures 86 by 65 centimeters and is currently exhibited at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. As a product of the Mannerism movement, which followed the High Renaissance, this self-portrait stands as a testament to the late Renaissance period’s evolving artistic sensibilities.

In the artwork, the artist presents himself with an expression of reflective sobriety, a characteristic common to self-representations of the time, particularly in the works of artists contemplating their own mortality or legacy. The tonal palette is dominated by earthy and neutral tones, which create a subdued atmosphere and draw focus to the artist’s visage and expression. Titian’s depiction is that of an elderly man, with visible signs of aging and a long white beard, which not only serve as marks of his experience and wisdom but also reflect the practice of self-scrutiny among artists of the Mannerist period. His wear, notably less ornate than might be expected of a man of his standing, nonetheless includes a black cap and a dark garment with an understated white ruff at the neck, conferring a sense of dignity.

The lighting in the artwork is soft and indirect, allowing for a gentle modeling of the face and imparting a certain depth to the figure. The background remains undefined, which serves to isolate the subject and focus the viewer’s attention entirely on the artist’s introspective demeanor. This portrait, distinct in its lack of grandiosity or embellishment, stands as an intimate and honest exploration of self by one of the Renaissance’s most revered painters.

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