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Assumption of the Virgin, Titian, 1518

18 apr 2024 6:55 pm


The Assumption of the Virgin, affectionately referred to as the Assunta, is a magnificent oil painting created by the renowned Italian Renaissance artist Titian between 1515 and 1518. Positioned majestically on the high altar of the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, also known as the Frari church, in Venice, it stands as the largest altarpiece in the city. The figures depicted in the painting are larger than life, a deliberate choice to accommodate the vastness of the church and the considerable distance between the altar and the congregation.

While the central panel bears Titian's mastery, it's worth noting that the accompanying images above and below are attributed to Palma Vecchio. This masterpiece marked a significant shift in Titian's artistic style, showcasing his awareness of the advancements in High Renaissance painting flourishing in Florence and Rome, thanks to luminaries such as Raphael and Michelangelo. Unlike the serene saints typically depicted in Venetian art, Titian's portrayal of the Apostles is dynamic and emotive, breaking away from tradition.

Initially met with shock by the Venetian public, the Assunta soon earned recognition as a masterpiece, solidifying Titian's status as Venice's premier artist and one of Italy's most influential figures, rivaling even Michelangelo and Raphael.

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