Titian Biography

Early Life

Titian, whose original name was Tiziano Vecellio, was born around 1488 in a small village of Pieve di Cadore, located in the Dolomite mountains, Northern Italy. He was the son of Gregorio Vecellio, a professional councilor, and his wife Lucia. Titian and his older brother Francesco soon left their hometown and moved to Venice, which was a major center for arts and culture at that time.


In Venice, Titian was initially apprenticed to mosaic artist Sebastiano Zuccato. In the late 1490s, he joined the workshop of the leading painter brothers of the time, Gentile and Giovanni Bellini. There, his exquisite talents were quickly recognised and he became a pupil of Giorgione in 1508, with whom he established a significant artistic partnership. Titian’s early works bear strong stylistic similarities to those of Giorgione and show much influence from his mentor.


Titian was heavily influenced by several different artists of his lifetime. He was particularly influenced by his early mentors Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione. Their work greatly contributed to the development of Titian’s style, which expanded on their attention to naturalism and atmospheric effects. Later, he was also influenced by Leonardo da Vinci’s interest in creating visual unity through color. Titian’s religious beliefs also had a significant impact on his work. His spirituality often manifested in his paintings, most notably in his many depictions of the Virgin Mary and Christ.

Major Artwork

As one of the most versatile of Italian painters, Titian was equally adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of color, exercised a profound influence on future generations of Western art. Among Titian’s major works are “Sacred and Profane Love” (1514), “Venus of Urbino” (1534), “Christ Carrying the Cross” (1565), and “Pieta” (1575), his masterpieces defined the main aspects of the Venetian School.

Art Movements

Titian was a leading figure in the Italian Renaissance, contributing significantly to the movement’s focus on realism, emphasis on color, and exploration of psychological depth. He later became known for his stylistic developments in Venetian painting, marked by his unique approach to color and form which came to embody the Venetian School. Titian often defied the traditional boundaries of formal composition, making significant strides in Baroque painting which emphasized dramatic, direct imagery and gave his work an enduring influence.


Titian passed away in August 1576, in Venice, during an outbreak of the plague. His legacy as a master of Venetian art remains significant, influencing future generations of painters from Rembrandt to Diego Velázquez. Titian’s innovative approaches to paint application and color, his ability to paint diverse subjects, and his intuitive understanding of the human condition helped to shape how we conceptualize “masterpieces” of Western painting. His impact extends beyond the world of visual arts to literature and music as well, earning him a universal recognition as one of the greatest artists of all time.

All Titian Artwork on 30 Art

Artwork Name Year Medium
Orpheus and Eurydice c.1508 oil,canvas
Painting of Daniele Barbaro 1545 oil,canvas
Pentecost c.1545 oil,canvas
Perseus and Andromeda 1554 – 1556 oil,canvas