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Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Art

  • 22nd March − 14th September 2014 | Scottish National Gallery | Admission free

Venice in the 16th Century

The sixteenth century was an exceptionally creative period in Venice's history - truly a golden age.

There were many factors - political, social, economic and geographical - which stimulated this flowering of the arts. The Venetian Republic was the envy of Europe for its relatively stable and fair system of government, and for the absence of serious social tensions. Venice's unique physical setting, emerging miraculously from its shimmering lagoon, set it apart from the warring city states elsewhere in the peninsula, and created an impression of independence and invincibility. It was a very significant military and naval power, with a maritime empire extending down the Adriatic and into the Eastern Mediterranean as far as Crete and Cyprus. For most of this period Venice also governed extensive areas of the mainland, or 'terrafirma', stretching almost as far as Milan and including major cities such as Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Brecia and Bergamo.

Many of the leading Venetian artists of this period, including Titian himself, in fact came from the mainland territories.

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