The Blade and the Brush: Titian's Magdalen for Philip II - The Courtauld Institute of Art

The Blade and the Brush: Titian’s Magdalen for Philip II

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The Blade and the Brush: Titian’s Magdalen for Philip II

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London

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After Titian, Mary Magdalen in the Wilderness (detail), Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

  • Wednesday 21 March 2018
    PLEASE NOTE: This Date Has Passed
    5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

    Research Forum Seminar Room, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN

Speaker

  • Dr Carlo Corsato - Morley College London

Organised by

  • Dr Guido Rebecchini - The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Dr Scott Nethersole - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Half-lenght portraits of Mary Magdalen in Wilderness were amongst Titian’s most successful compositions. Documented commissions reveal, in particular, how the painter used images of the saint as bargaining chips when negotiating annuities for himself or his sons. When Titian offered one of his Magdalens to Philip II, however, there was a much darker story underneath: the artist was trying to make amend and regain the king’s favour after having insulted him. The paper will investigate the circumstances surrounding the commission and Titian’s behaviour, as well as reconstructing the original composition of Philip’s Magdalen, which was tragically destroyed by a fire in London in 1873.

Carlo Corsato is a specialist in early-modern art and architecture in Italy and Flanders. He has lectured and given invited talks at a number of institutions, including Morley College, London, and the universities of St Andrews, Glasgow, and Buckingham. He has published extensively on Venetian painting and is currently preparing the publication of book on Titian and the iconography of Mary Magdalen.

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