In Vasari’s Lives of the Artists, Vasari offers us a fairly in-depth portrait of Tiziano de Cadore (most commonly and hereafter to be referred to as “Titian”) both as one of the great painters of the Renaissance and as a truly great and beneficent individual.
Indeed, the portrait of Titian that Vasari offers is one of a prodigiously and suprememly talented youth whose early painting went through a series of exceptionally dramatic although always impressive shifts. Indeed, many of these changes were due to his alternation tutelage, as well as the fact that, hailing from Venice, he was not initially in contact with the changes in painting then going on in Rome. Specifically, Early works of Titian betray a general ignorance of the resurgent classicism and historical study of painting then occurring in Rome, but with the arrival of some Roman-schooled painters, he adapted his style to be more in tune with the Roman one, while retaining much of the vigor and energy of the Venetian painting of his youth.
Titian later traveled to Rome and found much success there, but he ultimately returned again to Venice. Indeed, his style changed yet again as he aged, but these changes only reflected Titian’s amazing strength and versatility as a painter and revealed the very elements of his style and sensibilities that make us remember him even today, hundreds of years after his death. Indeed, much of the mystique surrounding Titian can be derived from his own enormous individual talent. Even as a young child he should an enormous interest in a and talent for painting, and it was these factors that convinced his father to apprentice him with the great northern painter He, seeing that the boy was much inclined to painting, put him with the famous painter Gian Bellini, under whose discipline he studied drawing, and showed himself in a short time to be endowed by nature.