Thursday, June 11, 2009

Review of MFA Boston exhibit:Titian and Rivals

I promised to tell about some of the artwork I saw while on vacation. Here it is:

Instead of a lengthy review I found the link to the most satisfying exhibit I have seen in a while that required timed tickets.
The Venetian painter Titian and his two rivals, Tintoretto and Veronese  are at the MFABoston in a thematic presentation of 60 works, which was a refreshing take on the usual museum show. Comparing these giants paintings side by side was most informative to this painter's eye. The themes included biblical references and mythology as well as self portraits. For instance, each had his own spin on The Supper at Emmaus. Seeing the three distinctive styles tell the same story was fascinating, to say the least. 

I had two favorite paintings in the entire show and they were by Titian, who for forty years competed with his younger counterparts. One is Venus and the other is the Entombment.
The two could not be farther apart in the handling of Titian's brushwork. Which underscores that search we have mentioned time and again, to have a 'painterliness' or freedom with our craft that seems ever elusive when starting to paint.
Titian was expelled from the master workshop of Bellini because he surpassed his mentor in skill. Again, this was shown by a comparison between the student's and teacher's work.( a quality that DaVinci said was expected from a student of a great teacher!)
Another point of interest is that this is about the time (16th c) when canvas started to replace wood panels as a support.
Check it out online or if in Boston by August, definitely go there.
Tomorrow, a little about Sargent.

ps. I hit 50 followers today..thanks to all of you for your interest and visits! Makes me smile each day.
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