Throughout his long career, Titian enjoyed the patronage of dukes and kings. He still continues to be recognised as one of the greatest artists of all time.
'Titian's First Masterpiece: The Flight into Egypt' examines the talented young artist's creation of an extraordinarily ambitious and innovative work, 'The Flight into Egypt', which is believed to be one of his earliest paintings.
About the painting
'The Flight into Egypt' gave Titian a subject where he had the chance to display his precocious skills in depicting landscapes. The painting reveals an already bold brushwork and exhilarating use of colour – characteristics that would become signatures of his artistic style.
The artwork, which has been generously lent to the National Gallery by the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, will go on display after years of skilled restoration. This will be the first time the painting has been seen outside Russia since 1768, when Empress Catherine the Great purchased it in Venice.
Works on display
The exhibition will display Titian's masterpiece alongside contemporary Venetian works – both from the National Gallery and loans from other British collections – to demonstrate how Titian adapted ideas from other artists's work in order to create his sophisticated composition.
Image above: Detail from Titian, 'The Flight into Egypt', about 1506-7. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Photograph © The State Hermitage Museum / Natalia Antonova, Inessa Regentova