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Review: Titian, His Life

Sheila Hale’s non-fiction biography, (or should I say, brick, at 901 pages) is widely acknowledged as the most thoroughly researched and engaging account of Titian’s life and works that exists. Using legal records, letters, contemporary accounts and knowledge gained from recent restoration work on his paintings, she reveals the enigma that was Tiziano Vecellio.

Known for his compelling portraits that were “more real than life itself,” he was the only artist who painted both the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, his son Philip II, and Popes Clement VII and Paul III. In an age when portraits became increasingly critical to securing one’s place in history, he was the most sought-after portraitist in Europe. Includes references to Leonardo Da Vinci, Vasari, Michelangelo and Raffaello, amongst many other lesser-known artists.