Titian to Van Dyck: The Art of Portraiture

The practise of portraiture and likenesses in portraiture has a long tradition stretching back to the 14th century and earlier.  But what demands drove this interest and need for likenesses in portraiture and how were they used by those who commissioned them.

This lecture will look at the early tradition of portraiture, its origins and the emerging styles of this genre, drawing on Renaissance examples of portraiture such as Hans Holbein and Raphael.  These issues will ultimately be explored in a lecture that will span the ages including ancient Roman coins, and painting from 1350 – 1642, through the prism of two master portraitists who came to dominate this genre of painting, not only in their own countries, but throughout Europe – the Venetian Renaissance master Titian and the flamboyant Baroque master, Anthony van Dyck.

Indeed this lecture will be an exploration of the influence and the very notion of portraits, from those that are of idealised subjects, to the patronage of royal and papal portraits, through to portraits of the wealthy and influential, and even the reasoning behind the self-portrait.

Short Reading List:

Alan Brown, David & Ferino-Pagden, Sylvia, Bellini, Giorgione, Titian and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting, (Yale University Press, 2006)

Gordon, Dillian, Fifteenth Century Italian Paintings, (National Gallery Company Ltd, 2003)

Hearn, Karen (Ed), Van Dyck & Britain, (Tate Publishing, 2009)

Jaffé, David (Ed), Titian, (National Gallery Company Ltd, 2003)

Syson, Luke and Gordon, Dillian, Pisanello: Painter to the Renaissance Court, (National Gallery Company Ltd, 2001)


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05/02/2011 – ©Leslie Primo