Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (1488/1490 – 1576), known in English as Titian, was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school.
Recognized by his contemporaries as “The Sun Amidst Small Stars” (recalling the famous final line of Dante’s Paradiso), Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of color, would exercise a profound influence not only on painters of the Italian Renaissance, but on future generations of Western art.
During the course of his long life, Titian’s artistic manner changed drastically but he retained a lifelong interest in color. Although his mature works may not contain the vivid, luminous tints of his early pieces, their loose brushwork and subtlety of tone are without precedent in the history of Western painting. Titian was a leading artist of the Italian Renaissance who painted works for Pope Paul III, King Philip II of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
In his later career, Titian focused more on religious and mythological works.
Through the wealth of works he left behind, Titian has inspired countless generations of artists. Rembrandt, Diego Velazquez, Antoon van Dyck and Peter Paul Rubens are just a handful of painters who were influenced by the great Venetian artist.