A Boy with a Bird

The infant, cradling a bird to his cheek, resembles Cupid, in versions of Titian's 'Venus and Adonis' in Washington and New York, though Cupid's wings, present here in the underlayers, were suppressed.

Formerly thought to be a seventeenth-century pastiche, recent evidence has brought this picture closer to Titian's orbit. It is painted over a pastoral scene that echoes a Titian print of the later 1520s. The paint handling and colour range also reflect Titian's work at this date, suggesting the picture is either a slight, hastily executed work by the master or more likely by a member of his workshop.

Key facts

Artist dates
active about 1506; died 1576
Full title
A Boy with a Bird
Date made
probably 1520s
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
34.9 x 48.9 cm
Acquisition credit
Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number
Location in Gallery