Tiziano, Valentin Lefèvre e il paesaggio

Edited by Peter Lüdemann
Zel Edizioni
Year 2023
Pages 64

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Titian, Valentin Lefèvre and landscape

Valentin Lefèvre, who was he?  In the year of Manzoni, it is almost obligatory to paraphrase the famous question that Don Abbondio asks of the Greek philosopher Carneades in “The Betrothed.” Without doubt, not everyone is familiar with the Flemish painter and engraver who emigrated from his native Brussels to Venice, where he was active from around the mid-1600s until his death in 1677.  This exhibition dossier aims to showcase his graphic qualities.

As Lüdemann’s essay in this catalogue makes clear, while his documented paintings in Venice show a fascination for Paolo Veronese, it is in the field of engraving that his connection with the works of Titian becomes close and stimulating, revealing a deep understanding of the maestro of Cadore, especially in the choice of landscape themes.

In his will written on August 27, 1677, in Venice, and in the subsequent inventory of his few belongings, he identifies himself as the “Florentine, also known as Valentino, formerly Roman, Lafevre from Brussels, Flemish painter.” He did not live to see published his twenty-eight etchings from originals, or believed to be originals, by Titian, as they came out posthumously in 1682, in the “Opera Selectiora” by the publisher Jacopo van Campen, together with many other etchings taken from the works of Veronese.