Titian: The Last Days

Titian: The Last Days

3.29 (47 ratings by Goodreads)
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Towards the end of his life Titian didn't finish his paintings. The elderly artist kept them in his studio, never quite completing them, as though wanting to endlessly postpone the moment of closure. Created with the fingers as much as the brush, Titian's last paintings are imbued with a sense of final, desperate effort - a rawness and immediacy that weren't to be seen again in art for centuries. But what did Titian, who experienced as much in the way of material success as any artist before or since, mean by these works? Are they a harrowing, final testament or simply a collection of unfinished paintings? In the outbreak of plague that finally killed him, Titian's studio was looted, and many paintings taken. What happened to them is not known. This book is a quest - a journey through Titian's life and work, towards the physical and spiritual landscape of his last paintings. Looking at Titian's relationships with his artistic rivals, his patrons - including popes, kings and emperors - and his troubled dealings with his own family, the narrative moves from the artist's hometown in the Dolomites to the greatest churches and palaces of the age. Parallel with these physical travels is a journey through the paintings, following the glittering trajectory of Titian's life and career, the remorseless formal development that led to the breakthroughs of his last days. Titian: The Last Days is an exploratory history of the artist and his world that vividly recreates the atmosphere of sixteenth-century Venice and Europe, a narrative in which the search for the subject becomes part of the subject itself. The result is a brilliant and compelling study of one of Europe's greatest artists that is at once passionate, engaging and deeply personal.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 154 x 236 x 36mm | 621.42g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 074759189X
  • 9780747591894
  • 996,128

About Mark Hudson

Mark Hudson is the author of two prize-winning non-fiction books: Our Grandmothers' Drums, which won the Somerset Maugham and Thomas Cook awards in 1990; and Coming Back Brockens, which won the 1994 NCR Award, the precursor to the Samuel Johnson prize, for the best non-fiction book of the year. His novel The Music in my Head was published to critical acclaim in 1998. Mark Hudson is a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph, and has also written for the Observer, the Mail on Sunday, the Guardian, the Sunday Times and many other publications. He lives in London.show more

Review quote

Praise for Our Grandmothers' Drums: 'A travel book of quite exceptional distinction. Mark Hudson opens a window upon what for most of us is brand new and quite exciting territory. It is very hard to believe that this polished work can be a first book' - Norman Lewis 'I have rarely read a book of such passion and honesty It is full of dark moods and chaotic exhilaration' - Sunday Times Praise for Coming Back Brockens: 'A brilliant work: at once an intimate history of coal-mining in the North-east, a spirited and wise personal memoir, and a pained description of an England that has all but exhasted itself' - Independent 'Hudson has told the story with emotional stylistic depth, his eye unfilmed by sentimentality but open to sentiment; generous, open-hearted and quirkily reflective.' - Richard Hoggart, Sunday Timesshow more

Rating details

47 ratings
3.29 out of 5 stars
5 15% (7)
4 23% (11)
3 40% (19)
2 19% (9)
1 2% (1)
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