Tiziano. L’Epistolario

Edited by L. Puppi
Year 2012
Pages 406

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The study of Titian’s correspondence has engaged Lionello Puppi for years.  He has researched the documents in various European countries as well as re-ordering of the Titian archive preserved in the Magnifica Comunità di Cadore. Since last summer, three collaborators have worked alongside Puppi, transcribing the letters and creating the relevant onomastic and topographical indexes, which are quick and easy to consult. They have worked with archives, museums, libraries and the private owners of Titian’s letters.  Valuable material was collected, with the aim of acquiring a passageway into our knowledge of Titan’s life and biographic affairs, as well as his artistic and entrepreneurial activities. Today this material is scattered in the most varied of public and private places.  Now this four hundred page volume presents the complete edition of the letters addressed and received by Titian between 1513 and 1576.  Moreover, while the project was underway advertising activities for it were carried out.  The publication was announced at the annual book fair in Frankfurt and at congresses pertinent to Titian studies, which were held primarily in Germany where studies on Titian are particularly advanced.   As is well known, the first collection of Titian’s letters was built on the material gathered by Celso Fabbro and curated by Clemente Gandini for the Magnifica Comunità di Cadore in 1977 (reprinted until 1989).  Until now, this has constituted the sole reference available to scholars.  It was an undeniably a noteworthy publication, despite the necessity of acknowledging that it lacked correct transcriptions, comments to the texts and completeness.  A new edition, in effect, has been wished for and recommended for some time now.  This volume is the result, an achievement which engaged Puppi for the past five years and that also saw the produced the great exhibition Tiziano: L’ultimo atto (Belluno – Pieve di Cadore fall-winter 2007) and the edition on Titian’s life (1622) compiled by Tizianello.  This volume not only expands the repertoire put together by Gandini by 80 new and previously unpublished letters but also identifies the location of letters that had been reported as lost and unrecoverable. The new edition is notable its detailed comments, which in the light of the latest Titian studies fully investigate and illuminate circumstances that had escaped the attention of specialists.  New light is shed on the often tormented and difficult relationship between Titian and his patrons; from the Farnese circle to Philip II and the court of Spain as well as with close friends, starting with Pietro Aretino.