Born: c. 1485
Died: 27 August 1576
Birthplace: Pieve di Cadore, Italy
Best known as: Renaissance Venetian master who painted Venus of Urbino
Tiziano Vecellio -- Titian -- was a sixteenth century Renaissance oil painter from Venice and one of the most influential artists in the history of western art. Although his early years are difficult to pin down, it's known that he studied in Venice with the popular painter Giovanni Bellini and his younger contemporary, Giorgio da Castelfranco (known as Giorgione). By 1516 both Bellini and Giorgione were dead, and for the next sixty years Titian was the recognized master of Venetian painters, as influential as Florentine wizard Leonardo and more financially successful than Michelangelo. Titian's vibrant oils depicted classical ideals as well as romantic Christian themes, and his patrons were European nobles and royals, including Charles V and Philip II. A master realist and astute businessman, Titian was famous and venerated throughout Europe during his lifetime. His most famous paintings include The Assumption of the Virgin (1518), Bacchus and Ariadne (1523), Venus of Urbino (1538), Ecce Homo (1543) and The Rape of Europa (1562).
Extra credit: Early biographies of Titian cite his birth year as 1477, but modern scholarship holds he was born around 1485.
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