Monday, February 6, 2012

"Young Jesuit" By Titian

Source of Picture
may be that Ranuccio Farnese's features have been handed down to us in the portrait of a "young Jesuit," now preserved in the Gallery of Vienna. 
This curious picture represents a boy in a dark silk dress, with one hand on his breast, and the other holding a glove and a couple of arrows. The head is raised, the eye turned towards heaven; and the impression created is that of a childish ecstasy, produced by causes to which the figure itself gives no clue. 
On close examination it appears that Very little of Titian's work, except some parts about the ear and cheek of the boy, has been preserved; a large piece has been added to the left side of the canvas, and the hand and arrows look like modern repaints. Some mysterious agency has thus apparently changed the original form of the piece. By a fortunate combination of circumstances the key to the mystery has been furnished in a curious and unforeseen manner. The "young Jesuit" of Vienna reappears without the arrows in a picture of the Berlin Museum, where he is seen standing at a table, on which some books are lying, and the cause of his ecstasy is explained by the attitude and gesture of a bearded man near him, who points with the fore finger of his right hand towards heaven.
Link (here) to Titian: His Life and Times 
Blogger Note: Some source material states that the subject is St. Alouisus Gonzaga, S.J.

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