Titian’s career coincided with a high point of Venetian cultural efflorescence, even at a time when her political influence had begun to decline. After the death of Giovanni Bellini (1430–1516) in 1516, Titian stepped into the latter’s place as the doyen of the Venetian school, but after the middle of the century he worked less for Venetian and Italian clients and more for the Spanish Hapsburgs, for whom, always based in his native city, he became a kind of court painter in absentia. He developed a personal relationship with the emperor Charles V, which continued with his son Philip II, making him the first European artist with a truly international reputation.
Books on Titian
Ian Kennedy, Titian, Cologne, 2018.
Charles Hope, Titian, London, 2003.
Paul Joannides, Titian to 1518, New Haven, 2002.
Harold E. Wethey, The Paintings of Titian: Complete Edition, London, 1975
Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Artist, 1550, trans. Julia Conway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella, New York, 2009.