Michael Bryan.

Dictionary of painters and engravers, biographical and critical online

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was probably induced to take finally to painting
by the extraordinary success of Titian. He painted
some pictures for the Venetian churches which
possessed sufficient merit to alarm the jealousy
of Titian, particularly a 'Transfiguration,' for
S. Salvatore. But his best performance is a
' Nativity,' in the church of S. Giuseppe, at Bel-
luno. By the persuasion of Titian, he is said to
have abandoned painting in 1531, to devote himself
to commercial pursuits. Works :





Berlin. Museum. Virgin Enthroned, with SS. Peter

and Jerome.
Dresden. Gallery. Ecce Homo,

Venice. Academy. The Annunciation.

VECELLI, Marco, called Marco di Tiziano,
was born at Venice in 1545. He was the nephew
of Titian, and accompanied his diatinguished unole
in his journeys to Rome and Germany. He was
the favourite disciple of Titian, and approached
nearer to his style than any other member of
the family. There are several pictures by him
in the Doge's palace, among the best an allegory
in the ante-chamber to the Sala del Gran Con-
siglio. Another good example is a picture in
the Sala della Bussola, 'The Doge Leonardo
Donate before the Virgin and Infant Christ.' He
also painted for churches at Venice, Trevigi, and
in the Priuli, among other things a ' Christ ful-
minating the world, and the Virgin and several
Saints interceding,' in S.S. Giovanni e Paolo, at
Venice. He died in 1611.

VECELLI, Orazio, the son and pupil of Titian,
was born at Venice about 1528. He distinguished
himself as a painter of portraits, some of wliich
were thought little inferior to those of his father.
He occasionally painted historical subjects ; one of
the most important was destroj'ed in the confla-
gration in the ducal palace at Venice. He neglected
painting, however, to devote himself to alchemy,
and died of the plague, at Venice, in the same year
with his father, 1576.

VECELLI, TiZTANO, called Tizianello, a son of
Marco Vecelli, who, early in the 17th century, ac-
quired some reputation at Venice. The principles
established by the great founders of the Venetian
school had, however, in his time given way to
manner. His best productions are his portraits,
which have vitality and natural colour.

VECELLI, TiziANO, the greatest painter of the
Venetian school, was born at Pieve, in Cadore, a
mountainous district of the Venetian or Carnic
Alps. He was the son of Gregorio di Conte
Vecelli, a member of an old family in Cadore, and
though not rich himself, a man of some note in hig
province, "equally distinguished by his wisdom in
the council of Cadore, and by bravery as a soldier
in the field." Titian was one of four children born
to this worthy, and his birth took place, as seems
certain from his own testimony, not later than
1477, the date usually assigned, which has been
doubted by some historians. Showing an early
disposition towards art, the young Titian was not
brought up to law or to arms like the rest of his
race, but was sent at an early age to Venice to
learn painting. According to Dolce's statement,
which there is no reason to doubt, he was first
placed with Sebastiano Zuocato, a Venetian mosaic-
ist, from whose school he appears to have quickly
passed into that of the Bellini, who were already
at this time, (about 1488,) considered the chief
masters in Venice. Dolce affirms that he first
worked with Gentile, the elder brother, who dis-
approved of his bold and rapid style of drawing.
This led him to seek the workshop of Giovanni,
where he doubtless acquired that love for colour
and knowledge of its effects which became the pre-
dominant characteristic of his art. It was at this
time also that he made the acquaintance of Palm a
Vecchio and Giorgione, the latter of whom especially
exercised considerable influence over his style. He
seems at one time to have entered into a sort of
partnership with Giorgione, but the exact facts of


their intercourse are not clearly established. Pro-
bably Titian's first independent employment in
Venice was as a house-painter, not in the sense
in which we now use that term, but as it was
understood at a time when the great nobles were
accustomed to adorn the outside of their palaces
with frescoes. One of the earliest references to
Titian's name in contemporary writings connects
it with a work of this kind, a fresco of ' Hercules'
mentioned by Sansovino as painted outside the
Morosini Palace, but no longer in existence. In
the years 1507-1508 he was employed, in conjunc-
tion with Giorgione, on the decoration of the new
Fondaco dei Tedeschi, or house of exchange for the
German merchants in Venice, which had just before
been rebuilt. Here, among other works, he painted
in fresco, above the gateway, a large figure of
Judith, Justice, or Germania, for it has been called
by all three names, which is spoken of by early
critics as a remarkable work, but of which scarcely
a trace now remains. (It was engraved by
Piccino in 1658, and by Zanetti in his ' Varie
Pitture' in 1760.) Among Titian's earliest works
on canvas, Crowe and Cavalcaselle reckon : a
small ' Virgin and Child,' in the Belvedere ; a
' Man of Sorrows,' and ' Christ carrying the Cross,'
in the Scuola di San Rocco at Venice; and the
allegorical composition usually called ' Sacred and
Profane Love,' in the Borghese Palace in Rome. In
this latter work, whatever it may be meant to signify,
Titian's powers as a colourist are already strikingly
apparent, and soon afterwards his skill as a portrait-
ist was made known in a portrait that he executed
of Marco Barbarigo, still in the possession of the
Barbarigo family, and also in a splendid portrait of
a Doge, now in the Vatican. The celebrated ' Christ
of the 'Tribute Money,' ' Cristo della Moneta,' of the
Dresden Gallery, which is spoken of by Vasari as
something " stupendous and miraculous," and by
Crowe and Cavalcaselle as being "the most perfect
easel picture of which Venice ever witnessed the
production," also belongs to this early period. It
would seem that Titian, who was well acquainted
with several of the members of the learned
Aldine Club, was advised by Pietro Bembo to go
to Rome and accept service under Leo X., but he
was dissuaded, it is said, by Navagero, from taking
this step, and the letter is still extant, dated May
31, 1513, in which he ofEers himself to the Doge
and Council of Venice to paint in the Hall of
the Great Council, in the Ducal Palace. " I, Thian
of Cadore," this letter begins, "having studied paint-
ing from my childhood upwards, and desirous of
fame rather than profit, wish to serve the Doge and
Signori rather than his Highness the Pope and
other Signori who in past days and even now have
urgently asked to employ me." He then begs to
be employed on the " canvas of the battle, which
is so diflioult that no one as yet has had the courage
to attempt it," and asks for "the first broker's
patent for life that shall be vacant " in payment.
This request was granted, but it led to so much
opposition on the part of Giovanni Bellini, that the
Council had to revoke its decree, and Titian did
not get his patent (a sort of sinecure, or retaining
fee given to the best artist of the time in con-
sideration of doing certain work) until after Bel-
lini's death m 1516. Before this, however, he had
already begin painting in the Hall of Council, bat
he could not for many years be got to finish the
great battle-piece he had undertaken, and his de-
lays led to much dissatisfaction on the part of the




Council, and even from time to time to the revoca-
tion of his patent.

Much has been written concerning the inter-
course of Titian with Alfonso, Duke of Ferrara,
and the friendship he formed with Ariosto, whom
he met at that Prince's brilliant court. His first
recorded journey to Perrara was made in FeUruary
1516, when he lodged with two assistants in the
Castello of Ferrara, receiving weekly rations of
"salad, salt meat, oil, chesnuts, tallow candles,
oranges, cheese, and five measures of wine."
Whether he was engaged at this time in finish-
ing Bellini's celebrated ' Bacchanal,' now in the
possession of the Duke of Northumberland, or
whether he was working on other pictures, is not
certain, for besides painting the portraits of Alfonso
and his mistress, the beautiful Laura Dianti, and
numerous subjects both religious and mythological,
Titian is known to have executed for this prince
two of the finest of his early works, ' The Cristo
della Moneta' before-mentioned, and the 'Bacchus
and Ariadne,' now the pride of our National
Gallery. It was in the same year as this visit to
Ferrara that Titian received the commission for
his great ' Assumption of the Virgin,' now in the
Accademia at Venice.

In 1623, Federigo Gonzaga, Marquess, and after-
wards Duke, of Mantua, was added to the list of
Titian's noble patrons, and numerous letters have
been found in the Mantuan archives and published
in Crowe and Cavalcaselle's life, that passed between
the painter and this nobleman. They all tend to
show the high esteem in which he was held by his
contemporaries. No painter, indeed, was ever more
favoured by the great than Titian, and soon he
numbered not only dukes and princes, but kings,
popes, and emperors among his employers and
correspondents. Of Titian's domestic life very
little is known. His wife, who was named Cecilia,
died in 1530, after having borne him three children —
his scapegrace son, Pomponio, who took priest's
orders, and for whom he was always seeking bene-
fices ; Orazio, who followed his father' s profession ;
and his beautiful daughter, Lavinia, whom he has

In 1531, the year after his wife's death, Titian
left the house in the San Samuele quarter in Venice,
where he had resided since 1616, and took another
in the north-eastern suburb of Bin, where his
children were brought up under the care of his
sister. The charms of Titian's house and garden
at Biri, and of the society which assembled there,
are revealed to us in a letter appended by the
Latinist Priscianese to the first edition of his
Grammar, published in 1540. In this letter he
describes an entertainment in Titian's garden at
which he met the architect Sansovino, Jacobo
Nardi, the historian of Florence, and Pietro Are-
tino, who was one of Titian's most intimate friends.
Many other distinguished visitors were received by
Titian ; but very often his profession called him
away from Venice, and we find him at one time at
Ferrara, at another at Mantua, and afterwards travel-
ling in the interests of his noble patrons to Bologna,
Augsburg, Milan, and other places. The year 1530
is the date assigned by Vasari for TitiaiTs first meet-
ing with the Emperor Charles V. He affirms that
Titian was sent for after the Emperor's coronation to
Bologna, and there painted such a magnificent por-
trait of his Majesty in complete armour, that he was
presented with a thousand scudi for the same, of
which, however, he had subsequently to refund


half to Alfonso Lombard! the sculptor. But much
doubt is thrown on this story by Crowe and Caval-
caselle, who find that its statements are not proved
by authentic records. It seems, indeed, more
probable that it was during the Emperor's second
visit to Bologna in 1633 that he first sat to Titian
for his portrait. Vasari likewise states that the
Emperor was so pleased with Titian's likeness of
him that he would never afterwards sit to any
other master; but this again is doubtful. It is
certain, however, that Titian received high honour
at the Imperial Court, where he painted not only
the Emperor himself many times, but also most of
the great lords, ministers, and agents who sur-
rounded him, receiving in return, besides a liberal
number of gold scudi, other payment in the shape
of grants and patents. By one of these he was
created a Count Palatine of the Empire, with the
power of appointing notaries and ordinary judges,
and of legitimizing the illegitimate ofEspring of
persons below the rank of prince, count, or baron.
He was likewise made a Knight of the Golden
Spur with all its privileges, one of which was the
right of entrance to the Imperial Court at any time.

In 1536 Titian was with the Emperor again, both
at Mantua and Asti. At this time he obtained a
grant of a pension on the treasury of Naples from
the Emperor, which, however, was not paid for
many years, although he "bombarded the treasury
with letters," and Aretino in his name " moved
heaven and earth " for the same purpose. Much
of Titian's work seems to have been paid for by
his patrons in this unsatisfactory manner, giving
rise to many heartburnings and disappointments,
as is well seen in his letters, most of which have
reference to these business details.

On Titian's return to Venice, after his second
visit to the Emperor, he found a rival in the field.
Although his city was doubtless proud of his suc-
cesses, it could scarcely brook his continual neglect
of the work he had undertaken. The great battle-
piece that he had promised was not yet accom-
plished, although Titian had held the office, and
drawn the salary of the Senseria, ever since 1516.
Accordingly, by a severe decree, dated 1537, ho
was called upon to refund all he had received
during the time in which he had done no work,
and there seemed every chance that Pordenone,
who had already painted in the Public Library,
would be installed in his place. This severity
seems to have brought Titian to a sense of his
obligations, and he immediately "threw upon
canvas " his magnificent representation of the
' Battle of Cadore,' which unfortunately perished
by fire in 1577, and is now only known to us at
second hand.

In 1541 Titian was again with the Emperor at
Milan, but seems to have returned quickly to
Venice, where he entered upon many new engage-
ments. In the early letter to the Council which has
been quoted, he alludes to having been " urgently
asked " to work for the Pope. He received, indeed,
several invitations to Rome, but he does not appear
to have gone there until 1545, when he was received
with great distinction by Paul III., by Cardinal
Farnese, who had been for some time trying to lure
him to the Holy City, and by his learned friend
Cardinal Bembo. Rooms were assigned him in
the Belvedere, that he might have easy access to
the Farnese family, upon whose portraits he was
engaged ; and Vasari, whose acquaintance he had
before made in Venice, undertook to show him the





sights of the city. He likewise at this time made
the acquaintance of Michelangelo, whose opinion
of his work Vasari has reported. Titian's portraits
of Paul III., of Cardinal Parnese, and of the Duke
Ottavio, the Pope's grandson, were executed during
this visit to Rome, as well as other portraits, and
his ' Danae,' now in the Naples Museum.

In the winter of 1548, we iind Titian undertakirig
a long and fatiguing journey across the Alps, in
order to join Charles V. at Augsburg. Aretino,
in one of his letters, has described the scene
that took place in Venice when he was about to
depart ; how every one tried to gain possession
of some small work of his, thinking that hence-
forth he would not deign to paint for any one but
the Emperor. That Titian's powers, in spite of
his age, were in full vigour at this time, is shown
by the amount of work he accomplished. His
industry indeed to the very last is perfectly
amazing. At this time, in Augsburg, he not only
painted the fine portrait of Charles V. on the field
of Muhlberg, now in the Madrid Museum, but like-
wise portraits of King Ferdinand, his five daughters
and two sons, Mary of Hungary, John Frederick the
Elector of Saxony, the Emperor's noble prisoner,
Maurice of Saxony, and most of the other noble and
princely personages who were then at the Imperial
court. The German master, Lucas Cranach, who
had accompanied the ElectorLeyden, and when, in 1572, the town declared
against Philip 1 1., he declined to join the insur-




gentB. His property was confiscated, and he retired
with his family to Liege. Otto had already received
some lessons from Isaac van Swanenburch, called
Nicolai, and at Liege his talents recommended him
to the notice of Cardinal Grosbeeck, at that time
Prince Bishop, who sent him to Rome furnished with
letters to Cardinal Madrucoio. He was kindly re-
ceived by Madruccio, and granted apartments in
his palace. He entered the studio of Federigo
Zuccaro, and soon learnt all that master could teach
him. After seven years in Italy, he returned to
Liege, where he became page to Ernest of Bavaria,
the successor of Grosbeeck. His new protector
despatched him on a mission to Rodolph II., at
Vienna, in whose service Otto remained for a time.
He then returned homewards by way of Munich
and Cologne, where he painted some pictures for
the ruling princes. In 1584 he revisited Leyden,
and in 1685 we find him at the Court of Alessandro
Farnese, Prince of Parma, who was at that time the
governor of the Netherlands. In 1593 he was
settled at Antwerp, and was made free of the
Guild of S. Luke in the following year. At about
this time his marriage with Anne Loots, the
daughter of a noble Flemish house, probably
occurred. At Antwerp he painted for the churches
and public buildings, and had Rubens for his pupil.
When the Archduke Albert, who succeeded the
Prince of Parma in the government of the Low
Countries, made his public entry into Antwerp, he
designed the triumphal arches, and his compositions
were so much admired that the Archduke invited
him to Brussels, appointing him his principal
painter and Master of the Mint. Van Veen dis-
tinguished himself in literature, and published
several works, illustrated by plates from his own
designs, engraved chiefly by his brother Gysbert.
Among them were : ' A History of the War of the
Batavians against Claudius Civilis and Cerialis,'
from Tacitus ; ' Horace's Emblems, with Observa-
tions ; ' ' Life of Thomas Aquinas,' and ' Emblems
of Love, Divine and Profane.' He died at Brussels,
May 6, 1629. His pictures in public galleries are :

Amsterdam. E. Museum. Twelve scenes illostrating the
rising of the Batavians
against the Romans,

The Calling of Levi.

Two scenes from the Legend of
S. Nicholas.

Zacchseus in the Fig-tree.

Last Supper.


Adoration of the Magi.

Triptych (The Crucifixion).

Christ bearing the Cross.

Marriage of S. Catharine.

Baising of Lazarus-
Two Portraits.

The Painter and his Family.

Holy Family.

Portrait of the Archduke Er-
nest, son of Maximilian II.
„ „ Portrait of the Archduke Al-

bert, Governor of the Nether-

VEEN, PiKTEB VAN, brother of Otto van Veen,
painted for amusement only, but has left a ' Relief
of Leyden in 1574,' of some merit. It is now in
the Leyden Museum.

VEEN, RocHUS VAN, perhaps a nephew of Otto
van Veen, flourished at Haarlem about the middle
of the 17th century, and excelled in painting birds,
living and dead, which he finished with great care.
He died at Haarlem in 1706.









S. JBavon.




VEENHUIJSEN, J., a Dutch engraver, who
flourished at Amsterdam about 1656 to 1677. He
engraved a set of views of the public buildings in
that city. He alsb drew portraits.

VEERENDABL. See Veeendael.

VEGA, Gonzales de. See Gonzales.

VEGLIA, Marco and Piero, two Venetian
painters, who flourished at the beginning of the
16th century.

VEIT, Johannes, painter, and elder brother of
Philipp Veit, was born towards the close of the
18th century, at Berlin. He studied at Vienna,
and from 1811 onwards, at Rome. His works are
akin to those of his brother and of Overbeck, and
his ' Madonnas ' are much adjnired. An ' Adoration
of the Shepherds ' by him is in the Berlin cathedral,
and an altar-piece at Liege. He also produced
some excellent portraits. He died at Rome in 1852.

VEIT, Philipp, painter, was born at Berlin, of
Jewish parents, in 1793. His father died while
Veit was still a child, and his mother, a daughter
of Mendelssohn, the philosopher, married Friedrich
von Sohlegel. The boy was baptized, and brought
up under the guidance of his stepfather. He made
his first studies in Dresden under Matthai, and then
worked for a time at Vienna. In 1813 he entered
the army and served during the Napoleonic wars.
In 1815 he went to Rome, where he joined the
neo-German religious school, and remained till
1830. Working together with Cornelius, Overbeck,
and Von Schadow, he painted many important
frescoes, among them ' The Seven Fat Years ' in
the Casa Bartholdi, ' The Triumph of Religion ' in
the gallery of the Vatican ; subjects from Dante's
'Paradise' in the Villa Massimi, and, in conjunction
with Koch, a ' Mary in Glory ' for Santa Trinita de'
Monti. In 1830 he was elected Director of the
Staedel Institute in Frankfort-on-the-Maine. He
painted in this town ' St. George ' for the church at
Bensheim, ' The Marys at the Sepulchre ' (now in
the Berlin National -Gallery) ; and the following
frescoes, ' The Triumph of Christianity,' ' The Inr
troduction of Art into Germany by Christianity,'
' Italia,' and ' Germania ' ; these four were for the
Institute. In 1843 he retired to Sachsenhausen.
In 1846 he there painted an ' Assumption of the
Virgin ' for Frankfort cathedral, and several pic-
tures for King Frederick William IV. In 1853
he settled at Mayenoe, and there designed the cycle
of frescoes for the cathedral, which were carried
out by his pupils and completed in 1868. Veit
died at Mayence in December, 1877.

VEITH, JoHAKN Maetin, was. bom at Schaff-
hausen in 1650. He studied in Italy, where he
spent ten years, and from Venice accompanied
Prince Radziwil to Warsaw. On his return he
made a certain reputation as a painter of portraits
and historical pieces. He died in 1717.

VEITH, Johann Philipp, draughtsman, painter,
and engraver, was bom at Dresden in 1768 or 1769.
He studied at the Academy there, and devoted
himself at first to landscape painting, but after-
wards became a pupil of the engraver Zingg. In
his thirtieth year he visited Italy, studying there
from nature. After his return he practised as an
engraver of landscapes, and was made first a
member and afterwards professor of the Dresden
Academy. In 1822 he published ' Views in the
Neighbourhoods of Dresden and Rome,' 'Two
Views of Terracina,' and several plates after
Berchem and Ruysdael. He died in 1836. Nagler
catalogues 206 plates by him.





VELA, Antonio, the Licentiate, son of Cristobal
Vela, was born at Cordova in 1634. He was a
priest renowned for his virtue, and a painter of
considerable skill. He painted two excellent pic-
tures on subjects from the life of S. Augustine for
the convent of that saint at Cordova, and gilded
and painted several rotables for other convents.
He died at Cordova in 1676.

VELA, Cristobal, a Spanish painter, was born
at Jaen in 1598, and was first a scholar of Pablo de
Cespedes, but afterwards studied under Vincenzio
Carduoho. He chiefly resided at Cordova, where
he painted historical pictures, correct in design,
though languid and weak in colour. In the cloister
of the convent of San Agustin, at Cordova, is a
series of the Prophets, designed in a good style.
He was drowned in the well of his own house at
Cordova, in 1658.

VELASCO, , a Portuguese painter, who

probably flourished at Vizeu between 1530 and
1540. A picture of the descent of the Holy Ghost,
signed by him, is in the church of the Holy Cross
at Coimbra. Sir Charles Robinson considers him
as possibly identical with the painter of several
large pictures in the cathedral of Vizeu.

VELASCO, Antonio Castbo t. See Palomino
DE Casteo.

VELASCO, Cristobal de, was the son and dis-
ciple of Luis de Velasco. He adopted the maxims
and imitated the style of his father, but did not
arrive at equal excellence. In 1598 he painted the
portrait of the Archduke Albert. He painted for
Philip III. seven views of cities in Flanders, to
place in his hunting lodge in the woods of Valsain,
for which he received the sum of 20,673 reals. His
son, Matias de Velasoo, was also an historical
painter, and pupil of his father. He accompanied
the court of Philip III. to Valladolid, and painted
some scenes from the life of the Virgin for the

Online LibraryMichael BryanDictionary of painters and engravers, biographical and critical → online text (page 168 of 201)