Paper Proposal

The Power of Color: Titian and Colorito

Paper Proposal

In the contemporary art world, it is not difficult to understand the exploration and progression of the use of color by artists. In the Italian Renaissance, however, this exploration had not yet taken shape. With the rebirth of ancient thought, perfection of nature and design were the important areas in art. InVenice, however, new ideas were advancing in painting and the artist Titian was leading the way. His use of color to create definition and expression in his work was revolutionary and changed the art of the Renaissance as well as inspired many future art movements.

By using what critics and scholars term colorito or using techniques with color to create definition, Titian helped to advance Venice into an authoritative visual city of the Renaissance. To help understand this progression it is vital to compare Titan’s coloring with the Florentine disegno, or emphasis on drawing and form, along with an analysis of Titian’s paintings. Early works, like the Assumption of the Virgin (Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, 1516-1518), are important because of their similarities to other Italian works but with a sense of color that was becoming something new. Later works are truly examples of colorito and the evolution into a more painterly style; this can be seen in works like The Rape of Europa (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1559-1562) and Venice with a Mirror (National Gallery of Art, 1555).

Titian succeeded in creating another branch to the Italian High Renaissance by his use and exploration of color. It is important to understand Titian’s impact by analyzing his works both in his early and later years of production. It will also be fundamental to discuss the comparison with Titian’s work with the Florentine masters and their disegno in drawing. Titian will go on to inspire and influence many of the other great masters in art by his amazing use of color that seemed so natural to him and his city even if it was so revolutionary for his time.

Comments are closed.