Exclusive - A new Titian at the National Gallery?

April 11 2012

Image of Exclusive - A new Titian at the National Gallery?

Picture: National Gallery

One of my sharper-eyed readers has alerted me to the new upgrading of a Titian at the National Gallery. For may years thought to be a copy, recent conservation has convinced the National Gallery that this portrait of a man thought to be Girolamo Fracostoro can be displayed as 'Attributed to Titian'.

I'm not a Titian specialist, but I can see that the argument has merits. The composition is of course very Titian-like for a work of the 1520s, and the handling of the cape and elements of the face seems right. However, the main problem with the picture is its condition. In parts, particularly the darks (which are the softest pigments, and are the first to be lost in over-cleaning) there is little left to see but bare canvas. So it's unlikely we can ever really be sure about the attribution.

You can see the picture in room 12. There is no illustration online at the National Gallery, but the above is a photo prior to restoration.  

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