The Pietà by Titian at the Gallerie dell'AccademiaBig Names
The Pietà by Titian at the Gallerie dell'Accademia
Tiziano Vecellio is considered the greatest painter in the history of Venetian art, known and appreciated all around the world... Just imagine that he was internationally famous already at his time!
His last painting, now kept at the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, is little known, but of great fascination.
The painting was designed as an ornament for the Chapel of Christ in the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, where Titian had obtained permission to be buried; at his death, however, the painting was still in his house and was passed to one of his pupils, Palma il Giovane, who modified it by finishing off the central niche and adding the cupid with the torch in the upper right corner, as well as the central inscription at the bottom, in Latin, in which he declared he had completed the work.
In 1631 the canvas was transferred to the Church of Sant'Angelo, now destroyed, and finally to the Accademia in 1814.
The work is prefigured as a great ex-voto aimed at preventing the spread of the plague of that year.
At the center the Madonna holds the Christ, semi-reclining and supported also by Nicodemus, which is probably a self-portrait of Titian; on their left, standing, is Magdalene, at the top of an ideal triangle.
On the sides of the niche there are two statues, representing Moses and the Sibyl Ellespontica, resting on sculpted pillars, with a lion figure nearby recalling St Mark’s.
On the lower right there is a votive tablet, with Titian and his son Horace intent on asking for divine intervention to save them from the epidemic: a theme taken from the imploring arm, lying at the foot of the Sibyl, which expresses the anguish of the artist for the disease.
The creation of this ex-voto wasn’t enough: shortly thereafter, his son Horace, then Titian himself were killed by the plague...
Visit the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice on your own or accompanied by a brilliant tour guide from Venice! On our portal you can book a fascinating private tour, which can be customized according to your needs - Your Own Venice!
Venice: Mars, Adam and Eve: the Doge's Palace celebrates their return
Unknown places & works
After four years of delicate restoration work, the three fifteenth-century statues by the great artist Antonio Rizzo will be exceptiona...View
Romano D' Ezzellino: Why do they say ‘If you can't sleep, count sheep’?
Figures of speech
It all started in Romano d’Ezzelino in the province of Vicenza when Ezzelino da Romano, who suffered from insomnia, hired a storytell...View
Venice: Fave dei Morti: the Venetian cookies of All Souls Day
As tradition dictates, every year, on the day when the deceased are commemorated (November 2), in Venice it is customary to prepare ‘...View
Padua: Why do people say ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela?’
Have you ever wondered where the popular expression ‘Rimanere in mutande’ o ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela’ comes from? It is a wa...View
Venice: The Last Supper by Veronese at the Gallerie dell'Accademia
The twelve rooms of the Gallerie dell'Accademia host many works of art from the Veneto Region and the city of Venice made by renowned a...View