In 1807, during the city's occupation by Napoleon's army, the Accademia Reale di Belle Arti (an academy of sculpture, painting, and civil architecture) relocated to its current location, formerly the home of the Convento dei Canonici Lateranensi, and the Scuola della Carita. The core of the collection, which was assembled in 1750, was displayed at the cluster of repurposed buildings now known as the Gallerie dell'Accademia.
A Genovese nobleman who, during the first two decades of the 16th century, served in a number of political roles, including as ambassador to Charles V in Venice (1522-3).
Thomas Agnew and Sons is a fine arts dealer specializing in Old Masters in London founded in 1817 by Thomas Agnew. The founder’s sons, Sir William Agnew, 1st Barontet (1825-1910) and Thomas Agnew (1827-1883) were highly influential in establishing the firm and drew many connections from Sir William’s relations as Agnew’s first established itself in 1860. Through the years Agnew’s clients included Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh (1847-1927) Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839-1898), Paul Mellon (1907-1999), Norton Simon (1907-1993), the Samuel Kress Foundation, the National Gallery, London, etc. Agnew’s was purchased privately in 2013 and is now run by Lord Anthony Crichton-Stuart—the former head of Christie’s Old Master paintings department, NY). In addition, throughout the years Agnew’s has placed many major pieces in museums across Europe and America such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, National Gallery, London, and more.
In 1688, Peter Strudel, the court painter to Emperor Leopold I, opened the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. The Emperor officially recognized the academy in 1692, making it the oldest art academy in Central Europe. After Strudel’s death in 1714, the academy was temporarily closed down. However, it was reopened as the Imperial Court Academy in 1726, and made a public institution. Half a century later, the State Chancellor united all of the art schools under the Academy of Fine Arts, as it is known today.
Son of Luigi Albertini.
Served as editor of the Italian newspaper, "Corriere della Sera," until 1925, when he was ousted because of his anti-fascist sympathies. He then relocated to his estate in Torrimpietra, near Rome, and worked on his magisterial history of World War I, "Le origini della guerra del 1914."
Luigi Albertini's biography was written by his brother, Alberto Albertini, and published in 1945 as "La vita di Luigi Albertini."
With buildings on the estate dating before 1066, Albury Park has a rich history for British kings and earls. With additions made to the estate over the centuries, including architectural additions by Sir John Soane and landscaping by John Evelyn, Albury Park was owned by Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel, until 1646. Through marriage, Albury Park passed to the Percy Family, the Dukes of Northumberland beginning in 1890.
The Alcazar was originally a 9th-century Muslim fortress in Madrid that was gradually expanded, especially in the 16th century, into palace for the Spanish royal family. The palace held an art collection of nearly 2000 objects by the time when the Alcazar was destroyed by fire in 1734. Part of the collection fortunately had already been moved to the Buon Retiro Palace, a secondary royal residence at the eastern edges of Madrid, because of construction on the Alcazar, but nearly 500 of the total artworks that remained at the Alcazar were destroyed. The Royal Palace was built at the site of the Alcazar.
Fernando Checa Cremades, El Real Alcázar de Madrid: dos siglos de arquitectura y coleccionismo en la corte de los reyes de España (Madrid: Comunidad de Madrid, 1994).
Italian Cardinal, Pietro Aldobrandini, made cardinal in 1593 by his uncle Pope Clement VIII. He was educated in Rome in the Oratory of Santa Maria in Vallicella and by 1598 became a driving force in recovering the city of Ferrara for the papacy. Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini inhabited the Villa Aldobrandini at Frascati as an escape from his daily obligations at the court and his duties as papal secretary of state, as he was again elevated in status. The cardinal was also a loyal patron of Annibale Carracci, who painted for Pietro Aldobrandini’s private chapel a series of luntette landscapes, one of the most famous being Rest on the Flight into Egypt. From 1518 to 1525 Titian created a series of mythological for Alfonso d’Este, however, after the demise of the branch of the d’Este family and the annexation of Ferrara into the Papal States, Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini removed the works from Alfonso and became part of the Aldobrandini collection in Rome. These confiscated works included Feast and the Andrians among other works.
Cardinal Ippolito Aldobrandini (1592-1638) was a Catholic Cardinal serving as Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church under Pope Clement VIII, his great-uncle. The Aldobrandini family was a noble family from Florence. Before 1603, the Aldobrandini family collections were not yet very rich, but as the family accumulated additional properties they began to fill them with art. In 1626 the family acquired a vineyard at Montemagnanapoli once belonging to Monsignor Giulio Vietelli, which served as a suburban site. Ippolito installed many works at this site, especially works from the Renaissance. The Aldobrandini also had a palace at via del Corso and a Villa at Frascati and it is through these three locations that the family divided their paintings.
Olimpia Aldobrandini (1623-1681) was the great niece and sole heir of Pope Clement VII Aldobrandi and the Aldobrandini fortune. She bore three children to her husband Camillo (1622-1666), nephew to Pope Innocent X. Pope Innocent X gave the cardinalate to Camillo, however, he renounced it in 1647 in order to marry Olimpia. During the mid 1600s Camillo and Olimpia began collecting works that would form the great Pamphili collection that included Titian’s Salome with the Head of John the Baptist, which was in their possession between 1638 and 1682. Other works such as Rest on the Flight into Egypt by Caravaggio, Portrait of Innocent X by Velazquez, Landscape with Figures Dancing by Claude Lorrain, Innocent X by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and more.
Zirpolo, Lilian H. Historical Dictionary of Baroque Art and Architecture. Toronto: Scarecrow Press, 2010.
First built in 1550, the original villa was expanded by Giacomo della Porta in order to be suitable for its inhabitant, Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, who was given the villa by Pope Clement VIII as a gift for annexing Ferrara to the papal states in 1598.
Alnwick Castle was first constructed in 11th century CE, but most of what remains was constructed in the 14th and 15th centuries. The de Vescy family owned it first, but it was shortly purchased the Percy family. During the Middle Ages, it primarily served as a defensive fortress against the Scottish in the north. It has also been used as a garrison and a prison for enemies of Oliver Cromwell in the mid-17th century. It is currently still owned by the Percy Family and is a place of residence for the Duke of Northumberland.
In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the castle underwent Gothic renovations, but was renovated again in the 1800s by Algernon Percy, the 4th Duke of Northumberland, to return to its medieval roots. Algernon Percy also decorated several rooms in the style of the Italian Renaissance. Algernon, a collector of Renaissance art and Roman artifacts, gathered sculptures and works by Titian, Tintoretto, Turner, and Claude Lorrain to decorate his new state rooms. (RD)
Source: Alnwick Castle Official Site (www.alnwickcastle.com)
Estate in Northamptonshire that has belonged to many generations of the Spencer family. Althorp had a notable art collection that was assembled over the past 500 years, until it was sold in the 20th century to offset the costs of maintaining the estate.
The Biblioteca Ambrosiana, named for St. Ambrose, patron saint of Milan, was founded in 1607 by Cardinal Federico Borromeo. It is one of the earliest libraries opened to the public. It contains a large collection of religious, classical, and literary works that focus on the study of the past. Most of these volumes were donated by wealthy private donors or endowed by religious orders. The Biblioteca also contains an art gallery that Borromeo himself started by donating his own art collection. The gallery, which contains works by Titian, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, and Caravaggio, is intended for purposes of both display and learning. (RD)
Source: Biblioteca Ambrosiana Official Website (www.ambrosiana.it)
Founded in Milan in 1618, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana holds the art collection of Cardinal Federico Borromeo, who had founded the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in 1607. The Pinacoteca was to serve the Ambrosiana Academy, which trained artists. Borromeo described his art collection in his treatise, Musaeum . Other collections joined Borromeo's to create the current collection.
http://www.leonardo-ambrosiana.it/en/la-pinacoteca-ambrosiana/ (accessed July 13, 2016).
Giovanni d’Anna was a Flemish merchant who lived in Venice. His father, Martino d’Anna, was already an established member of the foreign merchant community in Venice; through his family’s noble status, Giovanni inherited good relations with the Venetian doges and the Hapsburgs. Giovanni was also said to be a close friend of Titian. In Ecce Homo, Titian painted Giovanni’s portrait among several other prominent figures of the time.
Brundin, Abigail, and Matthew Treherne. Forms of Faith in Sixteenth Century Italy. Burlington: Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2009, p. 187.
Ridolfi, Carlo. The Life of Titian. University Park: Pennsylvania University State Press, 2010, 59.
First built in the 15th century, the palace on the Grand Canal was occupied by the Talenti family before it passed on to the Flemish D'Anna family. There was a fresco by Pordenone on the exterior facade that is no longer visible.
Marcello Brusegan, I palazzi di Venezia (Roma: Newton & Compton, 2007), p. 343
(accessed July 13, 2016).
Blake de Maria, "The Patron for Pordenone's Frescoes on Palazzo Talenti d'Anna, Venice," Burlington Magazine 146 (August 2004), pp. 548-9.
Half-brother to the legitimated children of King Louis XIV, he took many paintings owned by the King and displayed many of them in his home beginning in 1713, and kept all of the royal pictures until 1732.
Residence in Paris on the rue Neuve-Saint-Augustin at the corner of rue de Louis-le-Grand. Previously owned by Francois Moricet, and acquired in 1713 by the Duc d'Antin, half-brother to King Louis XIV's legitimate children and who displayed and kept many artworks that had been owned by the King.
Dealer who opened Aram-Erhardt Galleries in New York in 1935. He changed the name in 1937 to S.F. Aram, Inc.
Siegfried Aram was a partner in Erhardt Gallery in Berlin until 1934. He left Germany in 1934 and opened the Aram-Erhardt Galleries were started in 1935 in New York.
The official seat of bishops and archbishops of Olomouc.
Pietro Aretino lived here between 1529 or 1530 until 1551. The building had been owned by the Dolfin, and belonged to the Bollani when Aretino called it home. Here, in his modest property, he lived rent free, until he moved to a house on the Riva del Carbon that was owned by the Dandolo Family.
Juergen Schulz, "The Houses of Titian, Aretino, and Sansovino," in Titian: His World and His Legacy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), pp. 86-8.
Georges d'Armagnac (1501?-1585) was a humanist, cardinal, and diplomat who served as ambassador to Venice between 1536-9, when he had the double portrait of himself and Guillaume Philandrier painted by Titian. He moved to Rome when he became a cardinal, and resided in a house near San Marcello and later rented the Villa Turini-Lante on the Janiculum. He returned to live in Toulouse and, later, Avignon.
Richard Cooper, Roman Antiquities in Renaissance France, 1515-65 (New York: Routledge, 2016), ch. 2.
Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, lived from 1586 to 1646. He was a prominent English art collector of the seventeenth century, well known for collection of paintings, marbles, and manuscripts. He married Aleatha Talbot in 1606, and together they developed a love of art while traveling on the European continent. He purchased works from across Europe, including works by Titian, Albrecht Durer, and Hans Holbein. Under Charles VI, he also served as diplomat, general, and royal escort to Queen Marie de’ Medici of France, to varying success. In addition to owning titles for Arundel and Surrey, he was made a Knight of the Garter in 1611. Towards the end of his life, he fell out of favor and retired to Padua. Because of his Catholic sympathies, his estates were reclaimed by the government, but his wife Aleatha retained ownership of his collections.
Cust, Lionel, and Mary L. Cox. “Notes on the Collections Formed by Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, K. G.” Burlington Magazine 19, no. 101 (1911): 278–86.
Aleatha Howard (1585-1654), Countess of Arundel, was an English art collector of the seventeenth century. She married Thomas Howard in 1606 and together they developed a love of collecting paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, and other historical curiosities. While traveling in Europe, Aleatha developed ties with Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony Van Dyck, and Tizianello (Titian’s cousin), through whom Aleatha and her husband collected several works attributed to Titian. As part of the party that escorted Queen Marie de’ Medici to Holland, she decided to remain in Antwerp while her husband continued to Padua and left the collection in her name. She imported part of her collection to her new home and retained ownership of the rest still in England until her death, when it was divided between her sons.
Cust, Lionel, and Mary L. Cox. “Notes on the Collections Formed by Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, K. G.” The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 19, no. 101 (1911): 278–86.
The first Lord Ashburton was Alexander Baring, who, as a member of British parliament, was instrumental in negotiating several treaties involving boundaries in the United States. He collected artworks in his London home, Bath House, located at 82 Piccadilly.
A well-known lawyer and orator, Francesco was also a dear friend and patron of Titian, according to Vasari. Titian is reported to have painted a portrait of Francesco, in addition to many other paintings, but the portrait has not survived. Francesco lived in Venice, but also owned a house in Padua.
Vincenzo Mancini, “Vertuosi” e artisti: Saggi sul collezionismo antiquario e numismatico tra Padova e Venezia nei secoli XVI e XVII (Padua, 2005), pp. 102-4, 109-17.
Owned by Francesco Assonica, the palace was located near Santa Maria Zobenigo.
Francesco Assonica built a substantial house and garden in the mid-1550s in Padua. The house contained Francesco's art collection, including Titian's 'Rest on the Flight' (probably the one now in the Escorial). Some scholars assert that Titian assisted Francesco with the organization of the collection.
Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, better known as Augustus the Strong, had a taste for art as well as collecting paintings and porcelain treasures. In 1717 Augustus acquired a small palace on the right bank of the Elbe River in Dresden and planed to extend the building to create his very own ‘porcelain palace,’ which would include a new set of state apartments to showcase specially commissioned porcelain works from the Meissen manufactory. By 1719 Augustus had acquired more than twenty thousand pieces of Japanese and Chinese porcelain, which were displayed on the second floor of the palace. In addition, Augustus began a project of creating a gallery dedicated to including a variety of life size birds and animals to represent the domestic, exotic, and mythological species. While the project was never officially completed until after Augustus’ death, he still made many strides in the artistic community, including overseeing the process of manufacturing porcelain in western Europe under his patronage. In addition, he began forming a print collection and an antique sculpture museum; however, his most extravagant project was the Gemäldegalerie, one of the few royal collections not created by the spoils of war. The collection was expanded further by his son, Frederick Augustus II, and included works by Raphael, Titian, Tintoretto, and Correggio. The collection soon required more space and was moved from Dresden Castle to the Electors Stables Building in 1747. Then on September 25, 1855 the collection was moved into a new gallery wing, which was designed by the architect Gottfried Semper, and later known as the Semper Gallery of the Zwinger (Palace) [built in 1719]. In 1938, during World War II, the museum was closed and the artworks stored safely away, even surviving the bombing of Dresden on February 13, 1945; however, most of the paintings were stolen by the Red Army and taken to Moscow and Kiev. The collection was mostly returned to Dresden in 1956 and the gallery re-opened in 1960 after the reconstruction of the building. While many of the works survived, there were still significant losses: records from 1963 state that approximately 206 paintings had been destroyed and 507 were missing. Today, approximately 450 works are still missing.
Tarabra, Daniela. European Art of the Eighteenth Century. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2008.
Niccolo Aurelio (1463-1531) was a secretary to the Venetian Council of Ten, and would later go on to gain, and then lose, the coveted position of Grand Chancellor. Aurelio is believed to have commissioned Titian in approximately 1514 to create the work Sacred and Profane Love. Aurelio is identified as the patron by the specific coat of arms of Aurelio’s that is seen in the center of the picture’s foreground on the fountain. The work is said to celebrate and commemorate Aurelio’s marriage to Laura Bagarotto, which occurred May 17, 1514. Laura was the daughter of Bertuccio Bagarotto, a prominent Paduan lawyer and the widow of Francesco Borromeo, also a Paduan nobleman. Both of these men had been executed in 1509 during the War of the League of Cambrai for supporting the imperial forces against Venice. Not only were the rebels, such as Laura’s father and previous husband, publicly hanged, but their estates were confiscated as well. In 1510 the Council of Ten decreed that the dowries of Paduan rebels be returned and, on the day before their wedding was announced, Laura’s dowry was returned. Thus this painting marks not only a marriage, but also historical moments during the War of the League of Cambrai and the restoration of the State.
Thomas Bagley was a glazier for Charles I. Upon Charles’ death, Thomas was among the Crown's domestic servants who sought satisfactory wages and salary. While contractors were seeing to the sales of the Crown goods, including the property and art collection of Charles I, the Republican Trustees began receiving the representations of those seeking satisfaction. The Trustees had varying lists of urgency, their first list included 120 of the most needy servants or creditors, those which were submitted to Parliament on March 14, 1650 with payments totaling £12,800. The group was paid in June and July of that same year. The Trustees submitted their second batch of 970 creditors on January 3, 1651 and were made to wait eight months for Parliament to respond. The claims were made for the sum of approximately £90,000, however, when the Parliament replied in September of 1651 they only authorized the payments of £7,500. Therefore, less than half of those receiving warrants were paid, and almost none given the full amount of their warrant. For those who did not qualify for cash, such as Thomas Bagley, goods often worth less than their warrant were distributed. Bagley was presented with a piece from the art collection of Charles I, the St. Peter Enthroned, Adored by Alexander VI and Jacopo Pesaro by Titian, in 1651. Bagley would go on to sell the work to Don Juan Gaspar Enriquez de Cabrera, Duque de Medina de Rioseco, Admiral of Castile.
Kelsey, Sean. Inventing a Republic: The Political Culture of the English Commonwealth, 1649-1653. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997.
Robert H. Benson was a senior partner of a London firm of merchant bankers as well as a zealous collector of Italian Renaissance art. Robert went on to marry Evelyn Holford, sister of Sir George Holford (1860-1926), a wealthy courtier and British Army officer. During forty years of their marriage the couple acquired 114 paintings ranging from the 14th to 16th centuries. The two placed specific emphasis on collecting Venetian art and created a one-of-a-kind collection that became admired by fellow collectors. The Benson’s were close friends with the art dealers, the Duveen brothers, and, according to a widely circulated story, Joseph Duveen handed Robert Benson a blank check during a dinner party. Then, in July 1927, the Benson Collection was sold to the Duveens for the staggering price of $2.5 million. This transaction allowed many works of Titian’s to pass hands and disperse through the sales of the Duveens. These works included: Salome with the Head of John the Baptist, Madonna and Child, Gentleman with a Falcon, and Andrea dei Franceschi.
George Cavendish Bentinck was a British barrister and conservative politician. He was elected as a Member of Parliament from 1859 to 1891 and specifically served under Benjamin Disraeli as Parlimentary Secretary to the Board of Trade from 1874 to 1875 and as Judge Advocate General from 1875 to 1880. He was also a Trustee of the British Museum from 1875 until his death.
Founded by Balthazar Gerbier.
Founded in Munich as "Kunsthandlung Julius Böhler," in 1920 in Lucerne and New York as "Böhler and Steinmeyer" and after 1954 as "Lucerne Fine Art Company, Ltd "
The Borghese were an Italian noble family who became prominent in the 13th century due to their work as ambassadors, public officials, and magistrates. After they moved to Rome in the 16th century, they gained wealth and fame. Camillo Borghese became Pope Paul V, further increasing the wealth and prestige of the family. He also named his adopted nephew, Scipione Caffarelli, a cardinal. Scipione became active in church politics as well as the arts. He financed and restored many churches and palaces throughout Rome and supported Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who became an influential artist of the Italian Baroque. He began the family’s collection of paintings, which are now housed in the Villa Borghese Pinciana in Rome. Paul V also made his nephew Marcantonio II the prince of Vivaro; Marcantonio fathered the present Borghese family. Marcantonio IV continued his family’s patronage of the arts by restoring the Villa Borghese. Later in the 19th century, the family gained notoriety for selling their family art collection to Napoleon. Eventually the family split into two branches with one branch retaining the name Borghese and the other taking the name Torlonia.
The Galleria Borghese (Borghese Gallery) is an art gallery that was established in 1903 and is housed in the Villa Borghese Pinciana in Rome, Italy. The architect Flamino Ponzio built the villa in the 17th century for Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V. It now houses a large portion of the family’s collection of art. The collection includes Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love, Raphael’s Entombment of Christ, many works by Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Federico Barocci, as well as Bernini, whom Scipione was an early patron of. In 1808, Prince Camillo Borghese was forced to sell their Roman sculptures and antiquities to the Emperor. As a result, the most renowned sculpture in their collection, the Borghese Gladiator, is now in the Musee du Louvre. In 1902, the Borghese villa and estate was sold to the Italian government and transformed into a public museum.
Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V is well known as being the patron of the young Bernini who carved numerous works for Borghese’s collection including David, Apollo, Pluto and Proserpina, and Daphne. In addition to collecting works by Bernini, Borghese also collected works by Raphael, Caravaggio, and one of Titian’s most famous works, Sacred and Profane Love. All of these works were housed in a large estate and vineyard on the Pincian hill in Rome developed by Borghese and named the Villa Borghese. Other works acquired by Borghese and displayed in the Gallery Borghese included St. Dominic and The Education of Cupid. The Villa also included an extensive garden, which also functioned as a museum as it featured numerous statues and reliefs. The villa was also part of an urbanizing program promoted by Pope Paul V to show the magnificence of Rome through restoring ancient architecture and creating spectacular new urban environments. The grounds reflected symmetry, magnificence, and decorum and could be enjoyed freely by Romans and visitors, becoming a place where artists could view modern art for themselves.
Bohn, Babette and James Saslow, eds. A Companion to Renaissance and Baroque Art. Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
(1757 – 1821)
Charles Butler (1560-1647) was a British minister and influential beekeeper. After leaving Oxford with a Master of Arts in 1587, he eventually moved to a rural pasturage where he wrote The Feminine Monarchie, the first English-language book about beekeeping. Butler was the first to popularize the idea that the hive was governed by a queen-bee, not a king-bee, as Aristotle believed. The book also includes information about bee gardens, hive-making materials, swarm catching, the feeding of bees, and pollination. He also determined how to predict when bees might swarm, based on the pitch of their buzzing. In addition to his book, Butler was the first to record observations about the creation of beeswax. Due to his contributions to beekeeping, he is often known as “the Father of English Beekeeping.” Butler’s other books include a school textbook, a book on music theory, and a book that defends marriage between first cousins.
Titian's house in the Biri Grande, which he moved to in 1531. Prior to this relocation, Titian's studio was in the Ca' del Duca, across the Grand Canal from the Academia. Although the location of the Casa Grande is no longer on the water's edge because of backfilling, it was when Titian lived there. Titian soon took over the entire building in 1537-9 and expanded the garden in 1549. After his death, his son Pomponio inhabited the house, followed by the painters Francesco Bassano and Leonardo Corona. The house can be found in Cannaregio 5179-83.
Juergen Schulz, "The Houses of Titian, Aretino, and Sansovino," in Titian: His World and His Legacy, ed. David Rosand (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), pp. 79-80.
Born on November 19, 1600 as the second son to James VI of Scotland and Anne of Denmark, Charles I was second in line for the throne, succeeding his older and adored brother Henry. Henry, however died in 1612, and after the deaths of both of Charles’ parents in 1625, Charles became king. Soon after his accession Charles married Henrietta Maria of France and had five children together. Charles nonetheless created conflict with parliament, which led to a civil war and overall unrest in Scotland—he would eventually be executed for treason on January 30, 1649. Charles’ affinity for art began in 1623 when he became inspired by a visit to the Spanish court. Charles became an active art collector and filled his impressive collection with works by Velazquez, Titian, Correggio, Rubens, and van Dyck. In 1627 Charles purchased the entire collection of the Duke of Mantua for €18,280, which was described as “so wonderful and glorious a collection the like will never again be met with,” and in 1636 he acquired one-fourth of the collection of Bartolomeo Della Nave, a Venetian businessman. Both of these collections included works of Titian as well as other well known artists and grew his collection to include works by Bernini, Breugel, da Vinci, Tintoretto, Durer, and Rembrandt. Charles often visited the royal collection and began to attend auctions where he purchased several additional Titian’s and even bid for Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks. Other works that he admired, but could not afford, were often gifted to him by alternative monarchs. For example, Philip IV gifted Charles the Venus of the Prado, and when Charles could not afford Correggio’s Holy Family, the Spanish Monarch was equally generous and gifted the work. Charles also possessed an extensive collection of ancient coins and medals, sculptures—including 210 pieces at Greenwich Palace and in its gardens—and exquisite books. While Charles’ art collecting was quite a hobby, it seemed to be nothing more. Charles did not create or advance any institutions to elevate or further organize art; instead it seemed that his hobby seemed to govern his time, so much so that he in turn did not govern England. By Charles’ execution in 1649 he possessed an estimated 1,760 paintings, many of which were taken by Parliament in aims to be sold and dispersed around the globe.
Christina of Sweden was born to King Gustav II Adolph of Sweden and his wife Queen Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg in 1626. She was given an education unusual for a woman of her time, with many great philosophers and scholars acting as her personal tutors. When the princess was just six, her father died during battle and left his throne to Christina. Gustav II Adolf had barred Christina’s mentally ill mother from caring for the princess, choosing instead to have a politician be more directly involved with her upbringing; this same man, Axel Oxenstierna, became Christina’s regent. Oxenstierna ruled for Christina until she was eighteen. As a member of the royal family of Sweden, Christina was in possession of an art collection almost from the moment of her birth. Sweden’s national treasures, such as the tapestries of the first Swedish kings and great Protestant manuscripts, were housed in the royal palaces; when the Tre Kronor castle in Stockholm was adopted by Christina’s father as the permanent royal residence, the royal architect was commissioned to add a room to hold the royal collection. When Christina was crowned in 1650 she had many medals, tapestries, and other regalia made in her honor. She also had portraits commissioned of herself and her favorites at court. When she left Sweden with her retinue of personally chosen paintings, books, and medals, she did leave behind many treasures that had once belonged to her as Queen. Christina expressed interest in abdication as early as 1651, but was persuaded to remain on the throne by her Privy Council. However, at 27 she was no longer able to remain Queen of Sweden. In 1654, Christina officially abdicated the throne. Her cousin Charles Gustav had been named heir to the throne in 1649, after Christina had made it clear that she had no intention of marrying him or anyone else. It is usually accepted that her primary reason for abandoning her country was her desire to convert to Catholicism. When she left Sweden for Rome, she took many artworks with her.
Jabach fled Spain during the early persecutions of Sephardic Jews. He became a naturalized French banker of German origin who oversaw the operations of the East India Company in Paris. He attended the sale of the art collection of the English king, Charles I, and was painted by Anthony van Dyck and Charles le Brun. His bankruptcy caused him to sell 110 of his best artworks to Jean-Baptist Colbert, who purchased the objects on behalf of Louis XIV. Jabach's descendants were members of the Duveen family, who became major art dealers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Giovanni Ram was a Spanish merchant living with his family in the Santo Stefano parish of Venice during the sixteenth century. His private collection of art contained works by Vicenzo Catena, Giorgio da Castelfranco, Jan van Scorel, and Titian. Ram commissioned The Baptism of Christ from Titian and, as patron, was included in the bottom right corner of the work.
Michiel, Marcantonio. Notizia d'opere di disegno nella prima metà del secolo XVI, esistenti in Padova, Cremona, Milano, Pavia, Bergamo, Crema e Venezia. Jacopo Morelli, 1800, p. 78-79, 223.
Schmitter, Monika. ""Virtuous Riches": The Bricolage of Cittadini Identities in Early-Sixteenth-Century Venice." Renaissance Quarterly 57, no. 3 (2004): 908-69. (927 has the information about the Baptism painting)
Nicola Maffei (1487-1536) was a Count in the Mantuan aristocracy and an art collector. He was member of the wealthy Maffei family, which had been established in northern Italy since the thirteenth century. Nicola was close with the Gonzagas, who seized control of Mantua, and developed a close relationship with Federico Gonzaga in particular. Nicola served as a military captain and a part-time diplomat for Federico in the 1520s. He undertook several trips to the court of Charles V to successfully establish a positive relationship between the Hapsburg emperor and the Gonzagas; one of these trips brought him to Naples and Rome shortly before his death (brought on by illness).
Nicola was an avid collector of paintings, sculptures, and jewelry. He commissioned many works—including Titian’s Supper at Emmaus, an early version of a work often reproduced—and gifted pieces to his friends. He also imported a great deal of antiquities from throughout the Italian peninsula; in doing so, he occasionally competed with other noble families over the collection of antique art. He was very close with local artists in Mantua and personally kept correspondence with more distant artists, like Titian. The Supper at Emmaus contains the Maffei coat of arms and, most likely, portrait likenesses of Nicola and Federico Gonzaga.
Nicola had established a large and varied collection by his death, including works by Titian and Correggio. A 1589 inventory of the Maffei collection after the death of Nicola’s grandson counted 129 paintings and 31 sculptures. Of these paintings, 79 were religious works, 26 were portraits, and 8 had mythological subjects. After Nicola’s death, many of the works collected by him and his sons were sold and dispersed; several were absorbed into the Gonzaga collection.
Rebecchini, Guido. Private Collectors in Mantua, 1500-1630. Rome: Ed. di Storia e Letteratura, 2002, pgs. 52-85, 278, 287.
Francesco Filetto was a jurist and an orator in Venice during the sixteenth century. He commissioned the double portrait of himself and his son from Titian; the work has been cut into two sections.
Vasari, Giorgio. Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors & Architects: Volume IX, trans. Gaston C. du Vere. London: Macmillan & Medici Society, 1912-14, p. 176.
Diego Hurtado de Mendoza was a Spanish poet, diplomat, and humanist. He was born to a family that had helped expel the Moors from Spain in 1492 and which had close ties with the Catholic Church and the Inquisition. He joined the traveling court of Charles V in 1532 and became an ambassador, first to England and then to Venice in 1539. While struggling to keep Venice in the Holy League of Charles V, Diego became a grain merchant and hosted a number of famous artists, poets, and architects, like Titian, Pietro Aretino, and Jacopo Sansovino. In 1543, he began gathering books and Greek manuscripts to form a personal library.
In 1545, Diego attended the Council of Trent and shortly afterwards became Charles V’s ambassador to Rome, during a time of increased tension between the Holy Roman Emperor and Pope Paul III. He was also given a tumultuous governorship in Siena, which he lost in 1552 during military campaigns. He left his position in Rome to fight under the Emperor in the 1550s. In 1569, after a fight in Philip II’s court, Diego was imprisoned and sent back to Granada in disgrace. While in exile, he wrote Guerra de Granada, a history of the war in Granada. Upon his death, Diego left all of his belongings, including his library, to Philip II.
Spivakovsky, Erika. Son of the Alhambra: Don Diego Hurtado De Mendoza, 1504-1575. Austin: U of Texas, 1970.
Antonio Palma was an Italian painter born around 1515. He was the nephew of Palma Vecchio and the father of Palma Giovane, two more well-known artists, and he was a follower of the painter Bonifazio de’ Pitati. Only two works signed by Antonio Palma have been found: a processional flag from 1565, and the other a Resurrection painting located in the Stuttgart Gallery. In Titian’s portrait of Palma, he is identified by a palm branch and a paint box. (RD)
Cook, Herbert, and J. Kerr-Lawson. "The Identification of Two Painters' Portraits." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 6, no. 24 (March 1905): 450-55.
Gabriel Vendramin was a Venetian collector of the 1500s. He was the brother to Andrea Vendramin, the doge renowned for jumping into the Rialto to save the Relic of the True Cross. Gabriel was well known by contemporaries for his celebrated collections of antique coins and sculptures. His collection included a wide range of artworks: paintings, woodcuts, engravings, vases, marble and bronze statues, and rare curiosities (including a unicorn horn). Gabriel possessed works by a number of well-known painters, including the Tempesta and La Vecchia by Giorgione. He also owned works by Titian and commissioned a family portrait of himself, his brother Andrea, and his brother’s seven children. He was also a close friend of Titian. After his death, he intended for his collection to remain within the family, but pressures from other collectors eventually convinced the family to sell many of his objects. (RD)
Anderson, Jaynie. "A Further Inventory of Gabriel Vendramin's Collection." The Burlington Magazine 121, no. 919 (October 1979): 639-48.
Founded in 1478, the Scuola di San Rocco soon grew to become one of Venice’s largest and wealthiest confraternities. Home to the relics and body of San Rocco of Montpellier, the patron saint of the sick and afflicted, this Scuola Grande has come to be known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of Venice.’ Housing over 60 paintings by Tintoretto, this confraternity stands as an example of the power of these Scuole . Not only did they function as social meeting houses, but also as charitable organizations and mutual aid facilities. Officially finished in 1517, the grounds of the Scuola came to include the church and school on the Campo di San Rocco. Notable works still present in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco include Tintoretto’s Annunciation and Titian’s Christ Carrying the Cross, among others. One of the most extraordinary features of this Scuola is the masterpieces executed by Tintoretto that depict scenes from the Old and New Testament. Likewise, Christ Carrying a Cross stands as a masterpiece within the complex. Origins of this piece are unclear as both Giorgione and Titian had ties to the confraternity. Believed to cure ailments, pilgrims would pray to this painting for healing. Many copies were made in various media and it grew to become one of their most lucrative public displays. One copy of Christ Carrying the Cross was used by the confraternity as its gonfalone, the banner used in public processions within Venice. (NB)
Born in 1476, Girolamo Marcello owned the Sleeping Venus (Dresden). Although the whereabouts of the painting after its initial conception are unknown, it was seen within the Marcello household around 1525. This painting is thought to have been commissioned after the wedding of Girolamo Marcello to his wife, Morosina Pisani in 1507 to commemorate their union. Throughout his lifetime, Girolamo grew to love the work of Giorgione, coming to own three of his masterpieces, including the Sleeping Venus also known as the Dresden Venus. (NB)
Displaying over 750 works of art from the 15th to the 18th centuries, this museum was founded by Frederick Auguste II, son of Auguste de Starke. It was originally located within the Dresden Castle, but when the collection grew to be too extensive for the limited space, it was moved to the more spacious stables nearby. It was after this relocation when the architect Gottfried Semper designed a building fit for the grandiose art it would hold. Some of the most prominent pieces in the Gemäldegalerie collection are the Sistine Madonna by Raphael, the Procuress by Vermeer, and Sleeping Venus by Titian/Giorgione. During the beginning of World War II the gallery was closed and the paintings stored for safety. While the paintings and various works of art remained intact, the building itself was ruined during the bombing of Dresden on February 13, 1945. The paintings were later confiscated by the Red Army and brought to Moscow and Kiev between the end of World War II and 1956-8 when they were finally returned. (NB)
Paolo del Sera moved to Venice in the 1630s and lived in a palace "sul Canal Grande dirimpetto Rialto, e sulla piazza di Santa Sofia," on Campo Santa Sofia. He learned to paint under the instruction of Bernardo Strozzi and became familiar with the Venetian art world. Between the years of 1640-1670, approximately, Paolo del Sera was the Medici family art agent, obtaining artworks for Leopoldo de'Medici. It was through this relationship that Paolo del Sera sold The Concert by Titian (1512) in 1654 after he had gained ownership of the piece in 1648 through unknown circumstances. (NB)
Born in 1617, Cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici lived a life of luxury and intellect. He studied science with Galileo Galilei and art under Sigismondo Coccapani. Named the Governor of Siena from 1637-1644, he became a lead patron of literature, science, and art, eventually presiding over the Accademia del Cimento, Europe’s first Academy of experimental science. His art collections, housed mostly at the Palazzo Pitti, contained mainly classical antiques, ivories, ceramics, paintings, and books. Notable works included the Ludovisi Hermaphrodite and the Venus of the Casa Palmieri by Bolognini. In 1639 he began almost exclusively purchasing paintings and came to own over 700 by the 1660s, including The Concert by Titian. In 1667 he was named cardinal and used this title to pursue his dream of creating a gallery of self-portraits by noteworthy artists. (NB)
French military and political leader, Napoleon Bonaparte has become a familiar name after his many victories in Europe and rapid growth of power. Born on the Island of Corsica in 1769, he rose through the French military ranks during the French Revolution from 1789-1799. In 1802 a constitutional amendment made Napoleon the first consul of the government of France for life and two years later he crowned himself Emperor of France in a lavish ceremony within the Cathedral of Notre Dame. During his many campaigns to expand his power and reign through Europe, he began the practice of looting those he conquered in order to raise funds to support the war and lift the morale of the Parisian people back in France. He created the first official military division devoted to seizing and shipping art. This art was eventually put in the art museum, the Musee du Louvre. It is through this war campaign that he gained the majority of the art associated with him, including The Concert by Titian which had previously been held by the Medici family in Venice. Napoleon lost his footing as Emperor after his unsuccessful campaign in Russia during 1812 and was eventually exiled to the Island of Elba in 1814. After another unsuccessful 100 days campaign, culminating in the defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, he was again exiled to the Island of St. Helena and eventually died at the age of 51 in 1821. (NB)
A Venetian merchant and avid art collector, Bartolomeo della Nave’s collection became one of the most outstanding collections in 17th-century Venice, growing to contain over 20 pieces by Titian, including Christ and the Adulteress, and over 100 paintings in total. His holdings grew extensively after he acquired a large portion of Cardinal Pietro Bembo’s antiques collection. In 1636 his collection was put up for sale, probably because of his death, with several buyers, including the 3rd Marquesse of Hamilton, Charles I, and Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel, who expressed an interest. The collection eventually went to the Marquesse of Hamilton. (NB)
Michel Hochmann. "Nave, Bartolomeo della." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 27 Jun. 2016. .
King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg between 1815-1840, King William I of Holland was born in 1772. He became the sovereign prince of the Dutch Republic when France withdrew from the Netherlands in 1813 and two years later was named the King of the Netherlands. As he ruled he collected many works of art, including Titian’s St Peter Enthroned, Adored by Alexander VI and Jacopo Pesaro. He would eventually donate many pieces to the Antwerp Musee des Beaux-Arts in 1823. (NB)
A member of the royal bodyguard, Manuel de Godoy was born in Castuera, Spain on May 12, 1767. After moving with his brother to Madrid, he began an affair with the future king of Spain’s betrothed fiancé, Maria Luisa of Parma. Through this relationship he moved up the ranks and became a field marshal and first secretary of state and Duque de Alcudia. In 1792 he was named Prime Minister of Spain for the first of two times and negotiated the Peace of Basel between France and Spain, earning him the title of the Prince of Peace. Through a tumultuous rule he became a prisoner of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1808. He spent the remainder of his days until his death in 1851 in Paris, France. (NB)
The convent of San Pascual was a royal monastery designed by Francisco Sabatini. It was founded by the King Charles III of Spain as a Franciscan Monastery in 1765 and is now under Patrimonial Nacional. Many works of art were donated to the monastery, including a few works by Titian such as St Peter Enthroned, Adored by Alexander VI and Jacopo Pesaro in 1691 from the collection of Don Juan Gaspar Enriquez de Cabrera. (NB)
Known as the Admiral of Castile and the Duke of Medina de Rioseco, Don Juan Gaspar Enriquez de Cabrera was born in Madrid, Spain, on July 10, 1625 to a well-known noble family which was struggling financially. He was a lover of poetry, painting, and sculpture and tried to stay distant from politics. He became the owner of St Peter Enthroned, Adored by Alexander VI and Jacopo Pesaro after he bought it from the domestic servant, Thomas Bagley. This work by Titian remained in the care of Don Juan until 1691, when he donated the canvas to the Convent of San Pascual in Madrid. (NB)
One of the largest churches in Venice, Santa Maria della Salute is located between the Grand Canal and Bacino at the Punta della Dogana in Venice. It was first conceptualized in October of 1630 after the Venetian Senate promised that if the city was delivered from the plague epidemic it was experiencing, they would build a grand church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was designed by Baldassare Longhena in 1681 and completed in 1687. The building is octagonal in layout and many instances of Marian symbolism are present. The interior is decorated by many works of art, including a painting by Titian which the church received from the convent of Santo Spirito, St. Mark Enthroned. (NB)
Antonio Perez (1540-1611) was the Secretary of State to Philip II, king of Spain. Born illegitimate to Gonzalo Perez, a previous Secretary of State, Antonio Perez attended several universities and visited Italy at a young age, where he cultivated a love of Italian art and poetry. He owned a noteworthy collection of paintings, most of which he imported from outside Spain or received as gifts. A 1585 inventory of the collection counted 127 paintings spanning genres, including history, mythology, and portraiture. This large collection was used against him in his trial for the murder of Juan de Escobedo in 1578 as evidence of his excessive wealth; he was eventually exiled to France. In the 1570s, the Spanish Council of Ten asked Titian for a gift for Perez, and Titian likely gave him two religious works: Entombment, and Adam and Eve (which may have been inherited from his father).
Delaforce, Angela. “The Collection of Antonio Pérez, Secretary of State to Philip II.” The Burlington Magazine 124, no. 957 (1982): 742–53.
Sixtus IV, born Francesco della Rovere in 1414, was elected pope in 1471 and held the office until his death in 1484. Little is concretely known about his history. He was likely born near Savona in northern Italy, possibly to a merchant family, and entered the Franciscan order, where he gained many titles and offices. He was made cardinal in 1467. Once chosen as pope, Sixtus IV attempted to gain the good graces of the Italian princes and the European kingdoms, but faced deepening political and economic strife with the Medicis, whom he wanted to expel from Florence. He was a major urban renovator, compared to Augustus in his day for his major building projects; like many popes, he utilized the renovations to celebrate the papacy and his own family name. While he was a patron of art and literature and employed the best artists of his day, like Botticelli and Ghirlandaio, he did not appear to be an enthusiastic art collector himself and sold pieces of the former pope’s collection as diplomatic gifts.
Blondin, Jill E. “Power Made Visible: Pope Sixtus IV as Urbis Restaurator in Quattrocento Rome.” The Catholic Historical Review 91, no. 1. (2005): 1-25.
Lee, Egmont. Sixtus IV and Men of Letters. Ed. di Storia a Letteratura, 1978.
Verstegen, Ian. Patronage and Dynasty: The Rise of the Della Rovere in Renaissance Italy. Truman State University Press, 2007.