Titian occupies almost, if not quite, as important a place in the history of painting as does Shakespeare in that of literature. His fame, his popularity, the wide range as well as the immense quantity of his works, entitle him to be ranked with our poet, if only for the

Louvre, Paris

enormous influence they have both exercised on posterity: and without carrying the parallel farther than the limits imposed by the difference of their circumstances and their method of expression, it may fairly be said that Titian, in painting, stands for us to-day much as Shakespeare stands for in letters. "Titian," says M. Caro Delvaille,[2] "is the father of modern painting. As the blood of the patriarchs of old infused the veins of a whole race, so the genius of the most productive of painters was destined to infuse those of artists through all the ages even to the present day. He bequeathed, in his enormous œuvre, a heritage in which generations of painters have participated."

Not only was he the father of modern painting, but he was himself the first modern painter, just as Shakespeare was, to all present intents and purposes, the first modern writer. Among a thousand readers of Shakespeare, there is possibly not more than one who has ever read a line of Chaucer, or who has ever heard of any of his other predecessors. So it is with Titian. To the connoisseur, Titian is one of the latest painters; to the public he is the earliest. "In certain of his portraits," we read in the National Gallery Catalogue, "he ranks with the supreme masters; in certain other aspects he is seen as the greatest academician, as perhaps he was the first."

As it happens, too, Titian stands in much the same relation to Giorgione as Shakespeare did to Marlowe. Giorgione was really the great innovator, and Giorgione died young, leaving Titian to carry on the work. It has always been supposed that Titian and Giorgione, like Marlowe and Shakespeare, were born within the same year; but in this respect the parallel is no longer admissible, as Mr Herbert Cook has shown to the verge of actual proof that the story of Titian being born in 1577, and having lived to be ninety-nine years old, is unworthy of acceptance. If this were merely a question of biography, it would not be worth dwelling upon; but as it seriously affects the whole study of early Venetian painting, it is necessary to point out that the probability, according to a critical study of all the evidence available, is that Titian was not born till 1488 or 1489, and was thus really the pupil rather than the contemporary of Giorgione, and therefore more slightly influenced by Giovanni Bellini than has been generally supposed.

Without going into all the evidence adduced by Mr Cook (Reviews and Appreciations, Heinemann, 1913) it is nevertheless pretty evident that in the account given by his friend and contemporary, Lodovico Dolce, published in 1557, we have the most authentic story of Titian's early years, and from this it is quite clear that Titian was considerably younger than Giorgione. "Being born at Cadore," he writes, "of honourable parents, he was sent, when a child of nine years old, by his father to Venice, to the house of his father's brother, in order that he might be put under some proper master to study painting; his father having perceived in him even at that tender age strong marks of genius towards the art.... His uncle directly carried the child to the house of Sebastanio, father of the gentilissimo Valerio and of Francesco Zuccati (distinguished masters of the art of mosaic, ...) to learn the principles of the art. From them he was removed to Gentile Bellini, brother of Giovanni, but much inferior to him, who at that time was at work with his brother in the Grand Council Chamber. But Titian, impelled by nature to greater excellence and perfection in his art, could not endure following the dry and laboured manner of Gentile, but designed with boldness and expedition. Whereupon Gentile told him he would make no progress in painting because he diverged so much from the old style. Thereupon Titian left the stupid Gentile and found means to attach himself to Giovanni Bellini; but not perfectly pleased with his manner, he chose Giorgio da Castel Franco. Titian, then, drawing and painting with Giorgione, as he was called, became in a short time so accomplished in art that when Giorgione was painting (in 1507-8) the façade of the Fondaco de'Tedeschi, or Exchange of the German merchants, which looks towards the Grand Canal, Titian was allotted the other side which faces the market place, being at the time scarcely twenty years old. Here he represented a Judith of wonderful design and colour, so remarkable indeed, that when the work came to be uncovered it was commonly thought to be the work of Giorgione, and all the latter's friends congratulated him (Giorgione) as being by far the best thing he had produced. Whereupon Giorgione, in great displeasure, replied that the work was from the hand of his pupil, who showed already how he could surpass his master and (what is more) Giorgione shut himself up for some days at home, as if in despair, seeing that a young (i.e. younger) man knew more than he did."

Again, in speaking of the famous altar-piece—the Assumption, now in the Academy at Venice—painted by Titian in 1516, Dolce mentions him twice as "giovinetto." "Not long afterwards he was commissioned to paint a large picture for the high altar of the Church of the Frate Minori, where Titian, quite a young man, painted in oil the Virgin ascending to Heaven.... This was the first public work which he painted in oil, and he did it in a very short time, and while still a young man."

Vasari's account of Titian's early years is substantially the same, but unfortunately opens with the statement that he was "born in the year 1480." This might easily have been a slip of the pen or a printer's mistake for 1488 or 1489, and subsequent passages in the life bear out this supposition. But partly because Titian was a Venetian and not a Florentine, and partly, no doubt, because he was still alive, and had been producing picture after picture for over sixty years at the time Vasari published his second edition in 1568, the whole account is so confused and inaccurate that its credit has been severely shaken by modern critics, with the result that it is hardly nowadays considered authentic in any respect. The following extracts, however, there seems no reason to question:——

"About the year 1507, Giorgione not being satisfied [with the old-fashioned methods of Bellini and others] began to give his works an unwonted softness and relief, painting them in a very beautiful manner." And a little later "Having seen the manner of Giorgione, Titian early resolved to abandon that of Gian Bellino, although well grounded therein. He now, therefore, devoted himself to this purpose, and in a short time so closely imitated Giorgione that his pictures were sometimes taken for those of this master, as will be related below. Increasing in age, judgment and facility of hand, our young artist executed numerous works in fresco.... At the time when he began to adopt the manner of Giorgione, being then not more than eighteen, he took the portrait of a gentleman of the Barberigo family, who was his friend, and this was considered very beautiful, the colouring being true and natural, the hair so distinctly painted that each one could be counted, as might also the stitches in a satin doublet painted in the same work; in a word, it was so well and carefully done that it would have been taken for a work of Giorgione if Titian had not written his name on the dark ground."

With this we may leave the question of Titian's birth date, and consider the exceptional interest attaching to the question of this Barberigo portrait. According to Mr. Cook, and also, under reserve, to several other eminent authorities, it is no other than the so-called Ariosto, which was purchased for the National Gallery in 1904. The chief difficulties in deciding the question are, first, whether it is possible that a youth of eighteen could have painted such a masterpiece, second, that the signature Titianus is supposed not to have been used by the artist before about 1520, and lastly, that the head, at any rate, is decidedly more in the manner of Giorgione than that of Titian. This last, of course, did not trouble Vasari, and his testimony is therefore all the more valuable; but all difficulties vanish if we accept Mr. Cook's theory that the portrait was begun by Giorgione in 1508, was left incomplete at his sudden death in 1510, and finished by Titian in 1520. That is to say, the head and general design is that of Giorgione, the marvellous finish of the sleeve and other parts that of Titian.

Of works left unfinished at a master's death and completed by a pupil there are numerous instances; the famous Bacchanal at Alnwick is one which takes us a step further in Titian's career. This was begun by Giovanni Bellini, and Titian was invited by the Duke of Ferrara, in 1516, to finish it. The landscape is entirely his. To complete the decoration of the apartment in which the picture was hung, he was called upon to paint two others of the same size, one the Triumph of Bacchus, or as it is usually called Bacchus and Ariadne (now in the National Gallery) and the other a similar subject, the Bacchanal, now in the Prado (No. 418, formerly 450).

Ridolfi, in his life of Titian characterises our picture as one to whose unparalleled merits he is inadequate to do justice; "There is," he says, "such a graceful expression in the figure of Ariadne, such beauty in the children—so strongly marked both in the looks and attitudes is the joyous character of the licentious votaries of Bacchus—the roundness and correct drawing of the man entwined with snakes, the magnificence of the sky and landscape, the sporting play of the leaves and branches of the most vivid tints, and the detailed herbage on the ground tending to enliven the scene, and the rich tone of colour throughout, form altogether such a whole that hardly any other work of Titian can stand in competition with it."

In the composition of the second picture, The Bacchanal at Madrid, a number of the votaries of Bacchus are assembled on the bank of a rivulet, flowing with red wine from a hill in the distance; some of them are distributing the liquor to their associates, while a nymph and two men are dancing. The nymph is supposed to be a portrait of Violante, Titan's mistress, as he has painted, in allusion to her name, a violet on her breast and his own name round her arm. Her light drapery is raised by the breeze, and discovers the beautiful form and morbidezza of her limbs. In the foreground Ariadne lies asleep, her head resting on a rich vase in place of a pillow.[3]

National Gallery, London

Cumberland says that Raphael Mengs, who lived long at Madrid at the time when this picture was in the reception room of the New Palace, was of opinion that Titian's superior taste was nowhere more strikingly displayed, and remarks that he himself could never pass by it without surprise and admiration, more particularly excited by the beauty of the sleeping Ariadne in the foreground.

Respecting the merits of both pictures the testimony of Agostino Carracci should not be omitted; when he viewed them in the possession of the Duke of Ferrara he declared that he considered them the first in the world, and that no one could say he was acquainted with the most marvellous works of art without having seen them.

Commenting upon another picture of Titian's early period, Sir Joshua Reynolds delivers himself of the following criticisms on Titian as compared with Raphael, "It is to Titian that we must turn," he says, "to find excellence in regard to colour, and light and shade in the highest degree. He was both the first and the greatest master of this art; by a few strokes he knew how to mark the general image and character of whatever object he attempted, and produced by this alone a truer representation of nature than his master, Giovanni Bellini, or any of his predecessors, who finished every hair. His greatest object was to express the general colour, to preserve the masses of light and shade, and to give by opposition the idea of that solidity which is inseparable from natural objects....

"Raphael and Titian seemed to have looked at nature for different purposes; they both had the power of extending their view to the whole, but one looked only at the general effect as produced by form, the other as produced by colour. We cannot refuse Titian the merit of attending to the general form of the object, as well as colour; but his deficiency lay—a deficiency at least when he is compared with Raphael—in not possessing the power, like him, of correcting the form of his model by any general idea of beauty in his own mind. Of this his St. Sebastian with other Saints (in the Vatican) is a particular instance. This figure appears to be a most exact representation both of the form and colour of the model which he then happened to have before him, and has all the force of nature, and the colouring of flesh itself; but unluckily the model was of a bad form, especially the legs. Titian has with much care preserved these defects, as he has imitated the beauty and brilliancy of the colouring...."

Of the Sebastian, Vasari says very much the same as Reynolds. "He is nude," he writes, "and has been exactly copied from the life without the slightest admixture of art, no efforts for the sake of beauty have been sought in any part—trunk or limbs; all is as nature left it, so that it might seem to be a sort of cast from the life. It is nevertheless considered very fine, and the figure of our Lady with the infant in her arms, whom all the other figures are looking at, is also accounted most beautiful."

Two more of the pictures of Titian's earliest period are in the National Gallery—the Christ appearing to Mary Magdalen (No. 270), and the Holy Family (No. 4). The former is ascribed to about the year 1514, partly on the ground that the group of buildings in the landscape is identical, line for line, with that in the Dresden Venus painted by Giorgione but completed by Titian after his death. The same landscape also occurs in the beautiful little Cupid in the Vienna

PLATE XV.—TITIAN  THE HOLY FAMILY  National Gallery, London
National Gallery, London

Academy, and, as Mr Herbert Cook suggests, possibly represents some cherished spot in Titian's memory connected with his mountain home at Pieve di Cadore.

The Holy Family, above mentioned, is a most charming example of the sacra conversazione as developed by Titian from the somewhat formal and austere conception of Bellini and his contemporaries into something eminently characteristic of the secular side of his genius. The very titles of two of his most beautiful and most famous pictures of this sort proclaim the hold they have taken on the popular mind. The one is the Madonna of the Cherries, in the Vienna Gallery. The other is the Madonna with the Rabbit, in the Louvre. In our picture the distinguishing feature is the kneeling shepherd, with his little water-cask slung on his belt, who puts us at once in touch with the whole scene by the simple appeal to our common human experience. Raphael could move our religious feelings to revere the godhead in the child, but could seldom, like Titian, stir our human emotions and bring home to us that Christ was born on earth for our sakes.

If this particular characteristic of Titian were confined to the pastoral setting of these Holy Conversations, it might be taken as merely accidental, and without further significance than should be accorded to a youthful fancy. But in the wonderful Entombment, now in the Louvre, in which he displays "the full splendour of his early maturity," the human element is such an important factor in the presentment of the divine tragedy that even a painter, M. Caro-Delvaille, must postpone his description of the picture to sentences like these:—"Sur un ciel tourmenté," he writes, in phrases which it is impossible to render adequately in English, "se profile le groupe tragique. Aucun geste superflu; le drame est intérieur. La Douleur plane dans l'air alourdi du crépuscule, comme une aile fatale—Jésus est mort! Le grand cadavre livide, que les apôtres angoissés soutiennent, n'a rien dans sa robustesse inerte de la dépouille émaciée des Christs mystiques. Le fils de Dieu semble un patriarche douloureusement frappé par le décret d'en haut.

"Une âpreté primitive, où les larmes se cachent comme une faiblesse, communique a l'œuvre un pathétique si poignant que le mystère de la mort s'étend jusqu'à nous.

"La Vierge et la Madeleine sont là. Elle, la Mère, doute de la réalité, tant elle souffre! Son regard fixe sur le corps chéri, elle ne peut croire que tout est consommé. La pécheresse pitoyable la prend dans ses bras pour essayer de l'arracher à l'horreur de cette vision.

"Drame humain et divin! ne sont-ce point des fils qui ramènent le cadavre de leur père à la poussière? Tous ceux qui passèrent par ces épreuves se souviennent de ce deuil qui semble se prolonger dans la nature entière."

Titian's first period may be said to end in 1530, by which time he had completed the famous Peter Martyr, which was destroyed by fire in 1867. In 1530, too, Titian's wife died. This event of itself need not be supposed to have greatly influenced his career, as there is no evidence of her having appealed to his artistic nature as did his daughter Lavinia. As it happened, however, a more certain influence was nearly coincident with this event—the arrival in Venice of the notorious Aretine, who, chiefly as it appears, with an eye to business, entered into the most intimate relations with Titian. The accession of the sculptor

Louvre, Paris

Sansovino to the comradeship earned for the group the name of the Triumvirate.

So far from Titian being corrupted by the society of Aretine, there is direct evidence in one of the poet's letters to him that he was not. "You must come to our feast to-night," he writes, "but I may as well warn you that you had better leave early, as I know how particular you are about certain things." Nor is there anything in the artist's works of this next period—which we may roughly date from 1530 to 1550, that betrays a more serious devotion to the sensual side of life than can be accounted for by the demands of the high and mighty patrons that Aretine was soon to find for him. As an artist he looked upon woman as a beautiful creature, as a man he most probably never troubled about her, or was troubled by her. There is no proof that any of his pictures are rightly called "Titian's mistress," and we may conclude that he was as good a husband and a father as was Rubens, who revelled in painting woman, or Velasquez, who seems to have frankly disliked it. Like Rowlandson, whom the general public only know as a caricaturist, but who when he once got away from London was the most pure minded and poetical artist, so Titian, when once dissociated from the demands of corrupt patrons, like Philip II., never reveals himself as having fallen under the influence of Aretine—if indeed at all. The Danaë and the Venus and a Musician at the Prado are the only examples it is possible to cite—unless it be the Venus, to which popular opinion would hardly deny its place of honour in the Tribune at the Uffizi.

At the same time the difference in circumstances, the fuller, richer life that he must have led in these years of patronage and prosperity, accounts for a certain "shallowness and complacency" which distinguishes his work during this period as sharply from that which preceded as from that which followed it; and fine as is his accomplishment during these years, especially in portraiture, it includes fewer of those masterpieces which appeal to the heart as much as to the eye.

To 1538 belongs the large and beautiful picture of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary in the Temple, painted for the Scuola della Carità in Venice, which is now occupied by the Academy, where it still hangs, as is said, in its original place. It is twenty-two feet in length, and contains several portraits, among which are those of his daughter Lavinia (the Virgin, as is supposed), Andrea Franchescini, grand chancellor of Venice, in a scarlet robe; next him, in black, Lazzaro Crasso, a lawyer, and certain monks of the convent following them.

We now find Titian employed by the Duke of Urbino on some of the principal works of this period. Among these were the Uffizi Venus, said to be a portrait of the Duchess herself. The Girl in a Fur Mantleat Vienna, portraits of the Duke and of the Duchess (1537), and the so-called La Bella at the Uffizi. The so-called Duke of Norfolk at the Pitti, supposed to represent the young Duke Guidobaldo of Urbino. Also the Isabella d'Este at Vienna, and somewhat earlier, the Cardinal Ippolito in Hungarian dress, at the Pitti; and the Daughter of Robert Strozzi, at Berlin.

The large Ecce Homo in the Vienna Gallery, dated 1543, measuring 11 ft. 3 in. by 7 ft. 7 in. was for some years in London, and with better fortune might still be in this country if not in our national collection. It was one of the nineteen pictures by Titian in the wonderful collection of Rubens, which the Duke of Buckingham persuaded him to sell to him for a fabulous price. The collection was shipped to England in 1625, when the pictures were taken to York House in the Strand, and the statues and gems to Chelsea. In 1649 a portion of the collection was sold at Brussels, and the Ecce Homo was purchased there by the Archduke Leopold for his gallery at Prague, which now forms part of that at Vienna. The Earl of Arundel offered the Duke of Buckingham £7000 for it—an unheard of price, especially when we remember the greater value of money at that time.

With another masterpiece—fortunately still preserved in the Prado, though not entirely uninjured by fire—we may close the second period. This is the magnificent equestrian portrait of The Emperor Charles V. which was painted at Augsburg in 1548. A few years later the Emperor abdicated in favour of his egregious son, Philip II., of whom Titian painted three portraits in succession. The second of these, now in the Prado, has an especial interest for us, inasmuch as it was painted for the benefit or the enticement of Queen Mary before her marriage to Philip. As might be expected, it is a highly flattering likeness,—in white and gold, in half armour. To quote M. Caro-Delvaille, this king of auto da fés and sunken galleys is here nothing more than a gallant cavalier—neurasthenic but elegant. For England was also painted theVenus and Adonis, in 1554; but unfortunately the original is now in Madrid, and only a copy in our National Gallery. However, the remains of Philip are there too, and not in Westminster Abbey!

A copy of another famous picture painted by Titian for the Emperor Charles V. was also in the collection of the Duke of Buckingham, who probably brought it with him when he returned from his madcap expedition with Prince Charles to Madrid. It is described in his catalogue as "One great Piece of the Emperor Charles, a copy called Titian's Glory, being the principal in Spain, now in the Escurial." This was the great Paradise, or Apotheosis of Charles V. which Charles took with him into Spain at the time of his abdication and placed in the monastery of St. Juste, in Estramadura, to which he retired. After his death it was removed by Philip II. to Madrid.

Of the two versions of The Crowning with Thorns, the earlier one at the Louvre, painted in 1560, is more familiar to, and probably more popular with, the general public than the much later one at Munich painted in 1571. But for the real merits of the two we need not hesitate to accept M. Caro-Delvaille's judgment, since if he had any bias it would be in favour of his own country's treasure. The former he characterises as an incoherent composition, in which useless gesticulation diminishes the dramatic effect, while striving to force it; and adds that all the false romanticism of painting comes from this sort of theatrical pathos. Of the other he writes "It was the picture at the Louvre which shocked me with its violent declamation and its forced blows that never hit anything. But here at Munich a mystery so profound broods over the drama that the melodramatic element disappears. The scene becomes tragic, lamentable, hopelessly sad. The great artist with a brush that trembles in his aged hands paints but the sentiment of it, to exhale from his work like a plaintive sigh. The veil of death descends and spreads over life.... Titian might seem to have painted it as an offering to Rembrandt when he, too, should feel the approach of death."

Another of his latest pictures, the Adam and Eve in Paradise, is in the Prado (No. 429, formerly 456). This was copied, or one might almost say travestied, by Rubens when he was at Madrid in 1629, and his work was hung in the same room with it. As the colouring is of a lower tone than is usual with Titian, and the attitudes of the figures extremely simple and natural, the contrast is all the more marked, and was well expressed by Cumberland, who said that "when we contemplate Titian's picture of Adam and Eve we are convinced they never wore clothes; turn to the copy, and the same persons seem to have laid theirs aside."

A more generous comparison between these two painters is made by Reynolds in a note on du Fresnoy's poem on Painting respecting the qualities of regularity and uniformity. "An instance occurs to me where those two qualities are separately exhibited by two great painters, Rubens and Titian: the picture of Rubens is in the Church of S. Augustine at Antwerp, the subject (if that may be called a subject where no story is represented) is the Virgin and Infant Christ placed high in the picture on a pedestal with many saints about them and as many below them, with others on the steps to serve as a link to unite the upper and lower part of the picture. The composition of this picture is perfect in its kind; the artist has shown the greatest skill in composing and contrasting more than twenty figures without confusion and without crowding; the whole appearing as much animated and in motion as it is possible where nothing is to be done.

"The picture of Titian which we would oppose to this is in the Church of the S. Frari at Venice (the "Pesaro Madonna," where the two donors kneel below the Virgin enthroned). One peculiar character of this piece is grandeur and simplicity, which proceed in a great measure from the regularity of the composition, two of the principal figures being represented kneeling directly opposite to each other, and nearly in the same attitude. This is what few painters would have had the courage to venture; Rubens would certainly have rejected so unpicturesque a mode of composition had it occurred to him. Both these pictures are excellent in their kind, and may be said to characterize their respective authors. There is a bustle and animation in the work of Rubens, a quiet solemn majesty in that of Titian. The excellence of Rubens is the picturesque effect he produces; the superior merit of Titian is in the appearance of being above seeking after any such "artificial excellence."

The most important artist besides Titian who was a pupil of Giorgione was Sebastiano Del Piombo, as he was called—his father's name was Luciani. But as two other notable influences determined his career, he is not to be taken as typical of the Venetian School in general or that of Giorgione in particular. Born in Venice about the year 1485, he first studied under Giovanni Bellini, as appears from the signature as well as from the style of a Pietà by him in the Layard collection, which we may hope soon to see in the National Gallery. Of his Giorgionesque period there is only one important picture known to us, the beautiful altar-piece in S. Giovanni Crisostomo in Venice, which is not far removed from the richness of Titian's earlier work. The picture represents the mild and dignified S. Chrysostom seated, reading aloud at a desk in an open hall; S. John the Baptist leaning on his cross is looking attentively at him; behind him are two male and on the left two female saints listening devoutly, and in the foreground the Virgin looking majestically out of the picture at the spectator—a splendid type of the full and grand Venetian ideal of female beauty of that time. The true expression of a Santa Conversazione could not be more worthily given than in the relation in which the listeners stand to the reader, and in glow of colour this work is not inferior to the best of Giorgione's or Titian's.

As early as 1510, however, he not only left Venice, but also his Venetian manner. He was invited to Rome by the rich banker and patron of the arts, Agostino Chigi, where he met Raphael, and with astonishing versatility succeeded as well in emulating the excellences of that master as he had those of Bellini and Giorgione. The half-length Daughter of Herodias bequeathed to the National Gallery by George Salting is dated 1510, and in 1512 he painted the famous Fornarina in the Uffizi, which until the middle of the last century was supposed to be a chef d'œuvre of Raphael. To this period also belongs the S. John in the Desert, at the Louvre.

Within the next seven years a still mightier influence found him, that of Michelangelo, and how far he was capable of responding to it may be judged by our great Raising of Lazarus, painted at Rome in 1517-19 for Giulio de'Medici, afterwards Pope Clement VII., to be placed with Raphael's Transfiguration in the Cathedral of Narbonne. Both pictures were publicly exhibited in Rome, and by some people Sebastiano's was preferred to Raphael's. According to Waagen the whole composition was designed by Michelangelo, with whom Sebastiano had entered into the closest intimacy; and Kugler states that the group of Lazarus and those around him was actually drawn by the master. However that may be, we can hardly fail to see how entirely the Venetian influence is obscured by that of the great Florentine, and to recognise the extraordinary genius of a painter who could do something more than imitate from such masters as Bellini, Giorgione, Raphael and Michelangelo.

The last traces of the Vivarini influence are to be seen in the earlier works of Lorenzo Lotto(1480-1556), who was a pupil of Alvise, though his pictures after 1508, when he had left Venice, Treviso and Reccanti, where he had been employed, show the effect of his changed surroundings. To this date is assigned the Portrait of a Young Man, at Hampton Court. At Rome in 1509 he was painting with Raphael in the Vatican, and in his next dated work, the Entombment, at Jesi, the echoes of Raphael's Disputation and the School of Athens are clear. The Dresden Madonna and Child with S. John was probably painted at Bergamo in 1518, and the Madonna and Saints, lately bequeathed to the National Gallery, is dated 1521.

At Madrid is a picture by him of A Bride and Bridegroom dated 1523, to which year probably belongs the Family Group in the National Gallery. These are early instances of the comparatively rare inclusion of more than a single figure in a pure portrait. In our example the father and mother and two children are composed into a delightful picture, in which for once we may see the actual people of the time in something like their natural surroundings, instead of being posed, however effectively, to assist in the representation of some historic or legendary scene.

In 1527 Lotto was back again in Venice, and was probably influenced by Palma Vecchio when he painted the superb portrait of the sculptor Odoni, which is at Hampton Court. A little later the influence of Titian is more visible. Two other portraits are in our National Gallery, those of the Protonotary Juliano and of Agostino and Niccolo della Torre.

Bonifazio di Pitati (1487-1553), sometimes called Bonifazio Veronese or Veneziano, was born at Verona, but studied in Venice under Palma Vecchio. The influence of his native city distinguishes his work in some degree from the pure Venetian, as it did that of the more famous Paolo in later years; but the atmosphere created by Giorgione was so strong as to cause Bonifazio's masterpiece (if we except the Dives and Lazarus at the Academy in Venice) to be attributed until quite lately to Giorgione. It is thus described by Kugler:—"A picture in the Brera in Milan, very deserving of notice, is perhaps one of Giorgione's most beautiful works; it is historic in subject, but romantic in conception. The subject is the finding of Moses; all the figures are in the rich costume of Giorgione's time. In the centre the princess sits under a tree, and looks with surprise at the child who is brought to her by a servant. The seneschal of the princess, with knights and ladies, stand around. On one side are seated two lovers on the grass, on the other side musicians and singers, pages with dogs, a dwarf with an ape, etc. It is a picture in which the highest earthly splendour and enjoyment are brought together, and the incident from Scripture only gives it a more pleasing interest. The costume, however inappropriate to the story, disturbs the effect as little as in other Venetian pictures of the same period, since it refers more to a poetic than to a mere historic truth, and the period itself was rich in poetry; its costume too assists the display of a romantic splendour. This picture, with all its glow of colour, is softer than the earlier works of the master, and reminds us of Titian...."

The beautiful Santa Conversazione in the National Gallery, again, which was formerly in the Casa Terzi at Bergamo, was there attributed to Palma Vecchio. Here the Virgin in a rose-coloured mantle is the centre of the composition, with the Child on her knee, whose foot the little S. John is bending to kiss. On the right is S. Catherine and on the left S. James the Less and S. Jerome. In the landscape are seen a shepherd lying beside his flock, while other shepherds are fleeing from a lion who has seized their dog. A copy of this composition is in the Academy at Venice.

Oddly enough it was a pupil of Bonifazio who employed the grand Venetian manner in the humbler and more commonplace walks of life, and neglecting alike the Sacra Conversazione and the pompous scenes of festivity, developed into the first Italian painter of genre. This was Jacopo da Ponte, called from his birthplace Bassano, who was working in Venice under Bonifazio as early as 1535. He afterwards returned to Bassano, and selecting those scenes in which he could most extensively introduce cottages, peasants, and animals, he connected them with events from sacred history or mythology. A peculiar feature by which his pictures may be known is the invariable and apparently intentional hiding of the feet of his figures, for which purpose sheep and cattle and household utensils are introduced. He confines himself to a bold, straightforward imitation of familiar objects, united, however, with pleasing composition, colour, and chiaroscuro. His colours, indeed, sparkle like gems, particularly the greens, in which he displays a brilliancy quite peculiar to himself. His lights are boldly infringed on the objects, and are seldom introduced except on prominent parts of the figures. In accordance with this treatment his handling is spirited and peculiar, somewhat in the manner of Rembrandt; and what on close inspection appears dark and confused, forms at a distance the very strength and magic of his colouring. The picture of the Good Samaritan in the National Gallery is a good example, and was formerly in the collection of Reynolds, who it is said always kept it in his studio. The Portrait of a Man (No. 173) is excelled by that of an Old Man at Berlin.