CULTURE

Masterpieces at the Cycladic

masterpieces-at-the-cycladic

Better known as Titian, Tiziano Vecellio’s work needs no formal introduction.

Considered one of the leading artists of the Renaissance period, this magician of color left behind a strikingly concise body of work, ranging from mythological to religious scenes and portraits. Nine Titian works and one attributed to his workshop are included in the «From Titian to Pietro da Cartona: Myth, Poetry and the Sacred» exhibition, currently on display at the Museum of Cycladic Art. Featuring 24 paintings, the exhibition was inaugurated by Greek President Karolos Papoulias and his Italian counterpart, Giorgio Napolitano, on September 24.

On loan from leading Italian institutions, the works will be on display in Athens until December 20. The choice of works traces the development of artistic expression during a particularly productive period, both historically and intellectually. At the museum, visitors can follow the way painting developed from the 16th century to the 17th century, with Titian and other leading artists of the time imprinting widely diverse forms of aesthetic views on their canvases.

The works also reflect the values of the society in which Titian excelled, earning the respect of the Duke of Ferrara as well as that of Emperor Charles V – who appointed Titian to the post of official court painter. By presenting paintings from this extremely transitional period, the Athens show proves that Titian’s steps toward maturity were carried out with decisiveness as well as wisdom, without the artist deviating from his signature artistic language.

The power and sensibility of Titian’s works are striking. In «Scourged Christ,» for instance, the intensity on the face of Jesus is human and godly at once. In «The Last Supper» it’s the brightness of the colors that take over, while in «Venus with Cupid, Dog and Partridge» it’s the goddess’s naked body.

On display alongside Titian’s luminous works are paintings by his contemporaries, all telling the story of a sensational era, with works by Annibale Caracci, Jacopo Negretti, Giovanni Antonio de Sacchis, Domenico Campagnola, Pietro Berrettini (aka Pietro da Cortona), and Alessandro Varotari. Museum of Cycladic Art, 4 Neofytou Douka, Kolonaki, tel 210.722.8321-3.