Titian & Tragic Painting: Aristotle's Poetics and the Rise of the Modern Artist

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Yale University Press, 2005 - Art - 240 pages
Late in his life Titian created a series of paintings--the "Four Sinners,” the "poesie” for his patron Philip II of Spain, and the "Final Tragedies”--that were dark in tone and content, full of pathos and physical suffering.In this major reinterpretation of Titian’s art, Thomas Puttfarken shows that the often dramatic and violent subject matter of these works was not, as is often argued, the consequence of the artist’s increasing age and sense of isolation and tragedy. Rather, these paintings were influenced by discussions of Aristotle’s Poetics that permeated learned discourse in Italy in the mid-sixteenth century. The Poetics led directly to a rich theory of the visual arts, and painting in particular, that enabled artists like Titian to consider themselves on equal footing with poets. Puttfarken investigates Titian’s late works in this context and analyzes his relations with his patrons, his intellectual and humanistic contacts, and his choices of subject matter, style, and technique.

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Titian & tragic painting: Aristotle's poetics and the rise of the modern artist

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Late in life, Titian, the leading painter of the Venetian school, created a series of dark paintings that depicted human suffering and violence. Art historian Puttfarken here counters the theory that ... Read full review

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Titian was a Venecian.


Painting Poetry and the Liberal Arts
Imitation Moral Purpose and Learning
The Four Great Sinners
Terribilitą and Tragic Pathos
Problems of Interpretation
Titians poesie for Philip II as Painted Tragedies
The Final Tragedies and Titians Late Style
Photograph Credits

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About the author (2005)

Thomas Puttfarken, professor of art history and theory at the University of Essex, is also the author of The Discovery of Pictorial Composition: Theories of Visual Order in Painting, 1400?1800 and Roger de Piles' Theory of Art, both published by Yale University Press.

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