The Tribute Money (1516) by Titian

The Tribute Money - Titian - 1516

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Tribute Money
Dimensions56 x 75 cm
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationGemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany

About The Tribute Money

“The Tribute Money” is an oil painting on canvas created by the renowned artist Titian in 1516. With dimensions of 56 cm by 75 cm, this High Renaissance artwork embodies the iconic religious painting genre often explored during that era. The artwork is housed in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, Germany.

The artwork portrays a biblical scene where two figures are in close conversation. The central figure, who is depicted with an aura of serene composure, is traditionally identified as Jesus. He is shown with a direct gaze, long brown hair, and a reddish-orange robe draped with a blue-black cloak, colors that highlight his significance and visually separate him from the other figures. The man on the right, close to Jesus, is likely one of his disciples — possibly Saint Peter — who is engaged in a gesture of active discussion, holding a coin between his fingers. This coin refers to the narrative where Jesus instructs Peter to find a coin in a fish’s mouth to pay the temple tax, articulating the miraculous provision and wisdom in dealing with civic duties.

The intimate proximity of these figures suggests a moment of significant exchange, and the use of chiaroscuro by Titian accentuates the emotional and spiritual gravity of the scene. The overall composition, blending human emotion with divine narrative, exemplifies the High Renaissance focus on harmonious proportions and the integration of religious subject matter with humanistic values.

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