Titian and the Renaissance in Venice

About the exhibition

In the spring of 2019, the Städel Museum will devote itself to one of the most momentous chapters in the history of European art: Venetian Renaissance painting. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the artists of the lagoon city – first and foremost the young Titian (ca. 1488/90–1576) – developed an independent strain of the Renaissance relying on purely painterly means and the impact of light and colour. This new approach caused a sensation in Venice, and its exponents were soon spreading the innovations outside the city republic as well. In the 1540s, yet another highly talented young generation – now embodied by Jacopo Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese – came on the scene to vie for commissions in Venice.

In its various sections the exhibition introduces selected characteristic aspects of Venetian painting from the sixteenth century – for example the atmospherically charged landscape depictions that heralded landscape painting as a genre in its own right, the ideal likenesses of beautiful women (“Belle Donne”), or the importance of colour for the art of the Venetians. With more than a hundred masterworks from international collections, the show is the first in Germany to present a first-rate, thematically structured panorama of Venetian Renaissance painting.

The large-scale exhibition features more than twenty examples by Titian alone – the figure who held the key position in the Venetian art scene all his life – and thus the most extensive selection of his works ever before on display in Germany. It also presents works by Giovanni Bellini (ca. 1435–1516), Jacopo Palma il Vecchio (1479/80–1528), Sebastiano del Piombo (ca. 1485–1547), Lorenzo Lotto (ca. 1480–1556/57), Jacopo Tintoretto (ca. 1518/19–1594) and Paolo Veronese (1528–1588). The exhibition offers comprehensive insights into the artistic and thematic spectrum of the Renaissance in Venice and elucidates why so many widely differing artists of later centuries looked back to works of this period again and again for orientation.

Picture: Titian, Portrait of a Young Man, ca. 1510

With support from Dagmar-Westberg-Stiftung, Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain gGmbH

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