Biography of Titian Painter 1488-1576
John Evelyn's Diary 1679 January. 15th January 1679. I went with my Lady Sunderland to Chelsea, and dined with the Countess of Bristol [her mother] in the great house, formerly the Duke of Buckingham's, a spacious and excellent place for the extent of ground and situation in a good air. The house is large but ill-contrived, though my Lord of Bristol, who purchased it after he sold Wimbledon to my Lord Treasurer, expended much money on it. There were divers pictures of Titian and Vandyke, and some of Bassano, very excellent, especially an Adonis and Venus, a Duke of Venice, a butcher in his shambles selling meat to a Swiss; and of Vandyke, my Lord of Bristol's picture, with the Earl of Bedford's at length, in the same table. There was in the garden a rare collection of orange trees, of which she was pleased to bestow some upon me.
Around 1488 Titian Painter 1488-1576 was born.
Around 1529. Titian Painter 1488-1576 (41). Portrait of Federico Gonzaga II Duke Mantua 1500-1540 (28).
Around 1546. Titian Painter 1488-1576 (58). Portrait of Pope Paul III 1648-1549 (77) and his grandsons.
1548. Titian Painter 1488-1576 (60). Portrait of Isabel Aviz Queen Consort Spain 1503-1539.
1548. Titian Painter 1488-1576 (60). Equestrian Portrait of Charles Habsburg-Spain V Holy Roman Emperor 1500-1558 (47).
Before 1549. Titian Painter 1488-1576. Portrait of Pope Paul III 1648-1549.
Around 1550. Titian Painter 1488-1576 (62). Portrait of Philip "The Prudent" II King Spain 1527-1598 (22).
Around 1554. Titian Painter 1488-1576 (66). Portrait of Philip "The Prudent" II King Spain 1527-1598 (26).
On 27 Aug 1576 Titian Painter 1488-1576 (88) died.
John Evelyn's Diary 1641 October. 08 Oct 1641. Being the morning I came away, I went to see the Prince's Court, an ancient, confused building, not much unlike the Hofft, at the Hague: there is here likewise a very large Hall, where they vend all sorts of wares. Through this we passed by the chapel, which is indeed rarely arched, and in the middle of it was the hearse, or catafalco, of the late Archduchess, the wise and pious Clara Eugenia. Out of this we were conducted to the lodgings, tapestried with incomparable arras, and adorned with many excellent pieces of Rubens, old and young Breugel, Titian, and Stenwick, with stories of most of the late actions in the Netherlands.
By an accident, we could not see the library. There is a fair terrace which looks to the vineyard, in which, on Pedestals, are fixed the statues of all the Spanish kings of the house of Austria. The opposite walls are painted by Rubens, being an history of the late tumults in Belgia : in the last piece, the Archduchess shuts a great pair of gates upon Mars, who is coming out of hell, armed, and in a menacing posture; which, with that other of the Infanta taking leave of Don Philip the Fourth, is a most incomparable table.
From hence, we walked into the park, which for being entirely within the walls of the city is particularly remarkable; nor is it less pleasant than if in the most solitary Recesses; so naturally is it furnished with whatever may render it agreeable, melancholy, and country-like. Here is a stately heronry, divers springs of water, artificial cascades, rocks, grots, one whereof is composed of the extravagant roots of trees cunningly built and hung together with wires. In this park are both fallow and red deer.
From hence, we were led into the Menage, and out of that into a most sweet and dehcious garden, where was another grot of more neat and costly materials, full of noble statues, and entertaining us with artificial music; but the hedge of water, in form of lattice-work, which the fountaineer caused to ascend out of the earth by degrees, exceedingly pleased and surprised me; for thus with a pervious wall, or rather a palisade hedge of water, was the whole parterre environed.
There is likewise a fair aviary; and in the court next it are kept divers sorts of animals, rare and exotic fowl, as eagles, cranes, storks, bustards, pheasants of several kinds, and a duck having four wings. In another division of the same close are rabbits of an almost perfect yellow colour.
There was no Court now in the palace, the Infante Cardinal (32), who was the Governor of Flanders, being dead but newly, and every one in deep mourning.
At near eleven o'clock, I repaired to his Majesty's (40) agent. Sir Henry De Vic (42), who very courteously received me, and accommodated me with a coach and six horses, which carried me from Brussels to Ghent, where it was to meet my Lord of Arundel (56), Earl Marshal of England, who had requested me when I was at Antwerp to send it for him, if I went not thither myself.
Thus taking leave of Brussels and a sad Court, yet full of gallant persons, (for in this small city, the acquaintance being universal, ladies and gentlemen, I perceived, had great diversions and frequent meetings,) I hasted towards Ghent. On the way, 1 met with divers little waggons, prettily contrived and full of peddling merchandises, dravm by mastiff-dogs, harnessed completely like so many coachhorses; in some four, in others six, as in Brussels itself I had observed. In Antwerp I saw, as I remember, four dogs draw five lusty children in a chariot: the master commands them whither he pleases, crying his wares about the streets. After passing through Ouse, by six in the evening, I arrived at Ghent. This is a city of so great a circumference, that it is reported to be seven leagues round; but there is not half of it now built, much of it remaining in fields and desolate pastures even within the walls, which have strong gates towards the west, and two fair churches.
Here I beheld the Palace wherein John of Gaunt and Charles V were born; whose statue stands in the market-place, upon a high pillar, with his sword drawn, to which (as I was told) the magistrates and burghers were wont to repair upon a certain day every year with ropes about their necks, in token of submission and penance for an old rebellion of theirs; but now the hemp is changed into a blue ribbon. Here is planted the basilisco, or great gun, so much talked of. The Lys and the Scheldt meeting in this vast city, divide it into twenty-six islands, which are united by many bridges, somewhat resembling Venice. This night I supped with the Abbot of Andoyne, a pleasant and courteous priest.
John Evelyn's Diary 1649 February. 15th February 1649. I went to see the collection of one Trean, a rich merchant, who had some good pictures, especially a rare perspective of Stenwyck; from thence, to other virtuosos.
The painter, La Neve has an Andromeda, but I think it a copy after Vandyke from Titian, for the original is in France. Webb, at the Exchange, has some rare things in miniature, of Breughel's, also Putti, in twelve squares, that were plundered from Sir James Palmer (64).
At Du Bois, we saw two tables of Putti, that were gotten, I know not how, out of the Castle of St. Angelo, by old Petit, thought to be Titian's; he had some good heads of Palma, and one of Stenwyck. Bellcar showed us an excellent copy of his Majesty's Sleeping Venus and the Satyr, with other figures; for now they had plundered, sold, and dispersed a world of rare paintings of the King's, and his loyal subjects. After all, Sir William Ducy showed me some excellent things in miniature, and in oil of Holbein's; Sir Thomas More's head, and a whole-length figure of Edward VI., which were certainly his Majesty's; also a picture of Queen Elizabeth; the Lady Isabella Thynne; a rare painting of Rothenhamer, being a Susanna; and a Magdalen, of Quintin, the blacksmith; also a Henry VIII., of Holbein; and Francis I., rare indeed, but of whose hand I know not.
John Evelyn's Diary 1658 June. 9th June 1658. I went to see the Earl of Northumberland's (55) pictures, whereof that of the Venetian Senators was one of the best of Titian's and another of Andrea del Sarto, viz, a Madonna, Christ, St. John, and an Old Woman; a St. Catherine of Da Vinci, with divers portraits of Vandyck; a Nativity of Georgioni; the last of our blessed Kings (Charles I.), and the Duke of York, by Lely (39), a Rosary by the famous Jesuits of Brussels, and several more. This was in Suffolk House: the new front toward the gardens is tolerable, were it not drowned by a too massy and clumsy pair of stairs of stone, without any neat invention.
John Evelyn's Diary 1660 November. 1st November, 1660. I went with some of my relations to Court, to show them his Majesty's (30) cabinet and closet of rarities; the rare miniatures of Peter Oliver, after Raphael, Titian, and other masters, which I infinitely esteem; also, that large piece of the Duchess of Lennox (13), done in enamel, by Petitot, and a vast number of agates, onyxes, and intaglios, especially a medallion of Cæsar, as broad as my hand; likewise, rare cabinets of pietra-commessa, a landscape of needlework, formerly presented by the Dutch to King Charles I. Here I saw a vast book of maps, in a volume near four yards large; a curious ship model; and, among the clocks, one that showed the rising and setting of the sun in the zodiac; the sun represented by a face and rays of gold, upon an azure sky, observing the diurnal and annual motion, rising and setting behind a landscape of hills,—the work of our famous Fromantil,—and several other rarities.
John Evelyn's Diary 1660 December. 6th December, 1660. I waited on my brother (43) and sister Evelyn to Court. Now were presented to his Majesty (30) those two rare pieces of drollery, or rather a Dutch Kitchen, painted by Dowe, so finely as hardly to be distinguished from enamel. I was also shown divers rich jewels and crystal vases; the rare head of Jo. Bellino, Titian's master; Christ in the Garden, by Hannibal Caracci; two incomparable heads, by Holbein; the Queen-Mother (51) in a miniature, almost as big as the life; an exquisite piece of carving; two unicorn's horns, etc. This in the closet.
John Evelyn's Diary 1680 September. 2d September 1680. I had an opportunity, his Majesty (50) being still at Windsor, of seeing his private library at Whitehall, at my full ease. I went with expectation of finding some curiosities, but, though there were about 1,000 volumes, there were few of importance which I had not perused before. They consisted chiefly of such books as had from time to time been dedicated, or presented to him; a few histories, some Travels and French books, abundance of maps and sea charts, entertainments and pomps, buildings and pieces relating to the navy, some mathematical instruments; but what was most rare, were three or four Romish breviaries, with a great deal of miniature and monkish painting and gilding, one of which is most exquisitely done, both as to the figures, grotesques, and compartments, to the utmost of that curious art. There is another in which I find written by the hand of King Henry VII., his giving it to his dear daughter, Margaret, afterward Queen of Scots, in which he desires her to pray for his soul, subscribing his name at length. There is also the process of the philosophers' great elixir, represented in divers pieces of excellent miniature, but the discourse is in high Dutch, a MS. There is another MS. in quarto, of above 300 years old, in French, being an institution of physic, and in the botanical part the plants are curiously painted in miniature; also a folio MS. of good thickness, being the several exercises, as Themes, Orations, Translations, etc., of King Edward VI., all written and subscribed by his own hand, and with his name very legible, and divers of the Greek interleaved and corrected after the manner of schoolboys' exercises, and that exceedingly well and proper; with some epistles to his preceptor, which show that young prince to have been extraordinarily advanced in learning, and as Cardan, who had been in England affirmed, stupendously knowing for his age. There is likewise his journal, no less testifying his early ripeness and care about the affairs of state.
There are besides many pompous volumes, some embossed with gold, and intaglios on agates, medals, etc. I spent three or four entire days, locked up, and alone, among these books and curiosities. In the rest of the private lodgings contiguous to this, are divers of the best pictures of the great masters, Raphael, Titian, etc., and in my esteem, above all, the "Noli me tangere" of our blessed Savior to Mary Magdalen after his Resurrection, of Hans Holbein; than which I never saw so much reverence and kind of heavenly astonishment expressed in a picture.
There are also divers curious clocks, watches, and pendules of exquisite work, and other curiosities. An ancient woman who made these lodgings clean, and had all the keys, let me in at pleasure for a small reward, by means of a friend.
John Evelyn's Diary 1685 January. 27 Jan 1685. I din'd at Lord Sunderland's (43), being invited to heare that celebrated voice of Mr. Pordage, newly come from Rome; his singing was after the Venetian recitative, as masterly as could be, and with an excellent voice both treble and basse; Dr. Walgrave accompanied it with his theorba lute, on which he perform'd beyond imagination, and is doubtlesse orie of the greatest masters in Europe on that charming in strument. Pordage is a priest, as Mr. Bernard Howard (44) told me in private. There was in the roome where we din'd, and in his bed-chamber, those incomparable pieces of Columbus, a Flagellation, the Grammar-schoole, the Venus and Adonis of Titian; and of Vandyke's that picture of the late E. of Digby (father of the Countess of Sunderland (39)), and Earle of Bedford (68), Sr Kenelm Digby, and two Ladys of incomparable performance; besides that of Moses and the burning bush of Bassano, and several other pieces of ye best masters. A marble head of M. Brutus, &c.
Sir William Estcourt. It was in a sudden quarrel, and there was doubt whether it was more than manslaughter : but he was advised' to plead guilty, and then had a pardon, for which he paid £l,600.
John Evelyn's Diary 1696 April. 23 Apr 1696. I went to Eton, and dined with Dr. Godolphin, the provost. The schoolmaster assured me there had not been for twenty years a more pregnant youth in that place than my grandson (14). I went to see the King's House at Kensington. It is very noble, though not great. The gallery furnished with the best pictures [from] all the houses, of Titian, Raphael, Correggio, Holbein, Julio Romano, Bassan, Vandyke, Tintoretto, and others; a great collection of porcelain; and a pretty private library. The gardens about it very delicious.