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Titian (c. 1488-1576) was recognized very early on as the leading painter of his generation in Venice. Starting in the studio of the aged Giovanni Bellini, Titian, with his contemporary Giorgione, almost immediately started to expand the range of what was possible in painting, converting Bellini's statuesque style into something far more impressionistic and romantic. This restless spirit of innovation and improvisation never left him, and during his long life he experimented with a number of different styles, the brushwork of his last great paintings showing a mysterious poetry that has never been equaled. This volume in the series Lives of the Artists collects the major writings about Titian by his contemporaries and nearcontemporaries. The centerpiece is the biography by Vasari, who as a Florentine found Titian's very Venetian sense of colour and transient forms a challenge to his concept of art as design. The poet Ariosto and sparkling letter writer Aretino had a more nuanced view of their friend's work, and Priscianese's account of a dinner party with Titian, and the contributions by Speroni and Dolce, and the slightly later Tuscan critic Borghini, round out the picture of this hugely thoughtful, intellectual artist, whose paintings remain some of the most sensual and affecting in all of Western art. Mostly unavailable in any form for many years, these writings have been newly edited for this edition. They are introduced by the scholar Carlo Corsato, who places each in its artistic and literary context. Approximately 50 pages of colour illustrations cover the full range of Titian's great oeuvre.
The most exhilarating painter of the Renaissance and arguably of the whole of western art, Tintoretto was known as Il Furioso because of the attack and energy of his style. His vaunting ambition is recorded in the inscription he placed in his studio: l disegno di Michelangelo ed il colorito di Tiziano ("Michelangelo's drawing and Titian's colour"). The Florentines Vasari and Borghini, and the Venetians Ridolfi and Boschini wrote the earliest biographies of the artist. The four accounts are related each other and form the backbone of the critical success of Tintoretto. Borghini is the first one to give some information about Marietta Tintoretto, also an artist, and Ridolfi is the richest in anecdotes about the artist's life and personality - including the one about the inscription which he may, however, have invented. Boschini, a witty Venetian nationalist, wrote his account in dialect verse. El Greco, whose marginal notes to Vasari are included for the first time in English, Calmo and Franco knew Tintoretto personally and their writings give a real flavour of this complicated man. Unavailable in any form for many years, these biographies have been newly edited for this edition. They are introduced by the scholar Carlo Corsato, who places each in its artistic and literary context. Approximately 50 pages of colour illustrations cover the full range of Tintoretto's astonishing output.
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