Conclusion

Titian’s development of colorito was a conscious decision. He traveled through Italy and met artists such as Michelangelo. He experimented with brushwork and color to create a mood and tone in his work. His paintings changed ideas in the theories of art that had been so important in Renaissance Italy. Though his brushwork did change and become more physical during the later years, his colorito was evident in his early compositions as well, seen in the importance of color in theAssumption of the Virgin. He made his color and brushwork a character in his works that only emphasized the meaning and mood of the paintings. It was his ability to utilize color to its extremes, something “he never tortured or forced, but let it stream out free and unfettered” leading him to be “the first painter to entrust his power of expression almost entirely to color.”[i]

Image Credit to Carolyn Higgins

This rivalry of two major schools of painting from two powerful cities can be seen not only in the painting and drawings of the artists but also in the way art was produced and the bickering of contemporary writers. Titian was in the center of this competition with central Italians, especially Michelangelo, but the paintings that Titian created were something revolutionary that had never been seen before. His paintings breathed and had meaning through the color and how he worked the paint. He advanced oil painting and worked with the physical aspects of the canvas to create an entire new level for the viewer’s experience. This sweeping visibility of his brushwork progressed throughout his career when it got to a point where paintings looked drastically different. However, all of Titian’s paintings, early or late, commissioned or not, had one thing in common: color being a complete character in the work and bringing all the elements together into a beautiful and emotional design.


[i] Hans Tietze, Titian: The Paintings and Drawings, (London: Phaidon Press Ltd., 1950), 55.

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