Overview

Ranuccio Farnese was 12 years old when Titian painted his portrait. The boy had been sent to Venice by his grandfather, Pope Paul III, to become prior of an important property belonging to the Knights of Malta. As a member of the powerful and aristocratic Farnese family, Ranuccio went on to an illustrious ecclesiastical career. He was made Archbishop of Naples at the age of 14, and he later served as Bishop of Bologna, Archbishop of Milan and Ravenna, and Cardinal Sant'Angelo, dying when he was only 35 years old.

Adult responsibility came to Ranuccio when still a child, as Titian so brilliantly conveyed through the cloak of office, too large and heavy, sliding off the youth's small shoulders. The boy in the role of the man is what gives this characterization such poignancy.

Portraits by Titian were in great demand, distinguished as they were for their remarkable insight into character and their brilliant technique. Nowhere is the painter's genius more in evidence than in this image. Limiting his palette to black, white, and rose, Titian enlivened the surface with light: the dull gleam rippling over the sleeves of the velvet cloak; the fitful pattern flickering across the slashed doublet; and the changing reflections on the satin Maltese Cross.

Inscription

center right: TITIANVS / .F.

Marks and Labels

null

Provenance

Farnese family, Parma, by 1620;[1] brought from Naples to London by Sir George Donaldson [1845-1925], London; sold May 1880 to Sir John Charles Robinson [1824-1913], London; sold to Sir Francis Cook, 1st Bt. [1817-1901], Doughty House, Richmond, Surrey, by 1885;[2] by inheritance to his son, Sir Frederick Lucas Cook, 2nd Bt. [1844-1920], Doughty House; by inheritance to his son, Sir Herbert Frederick Cook, 3rd Bt. [1868-1939], Doughty House; by inheritance to his son, Sir Francis Ferdinand Maurice Cook, 4th Bt. [1907-1978], Doughty House, and Cothay Manor, Somerset; sold June or July 1947 to (Gualtiero Volterra, London) for (Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi, Florence);[3] sold July 1948 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York;[4] gift 1952 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1976
Zapadnoevropeiskaia i Amerikanskaia zhivopis is muzeev ssha [West European and American Painting from the Museums of USA], State Hermitage Museum, Leningrad; State Pushkin Museum, Moscow; State Museums, Kiev and Minsk, 1976, unpaginated and unnumbered.
1983
The Genius of Venice 1500-1600, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1983-1984.
1990
Tiziano [NGA title: Titian: Prince of Painters], Palazzo Ducale, Venice; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1990-1991, no. 33, repro.
1994
A Gift to America: Masterpieces of European Painting from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, four venues, 1994-1995, no. 2, repro. (shown only at first two venues: North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston).
1995
I Farnese: Arte e Collezionismo, Palazzo Ducale di Colorno, Parma; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Galleria Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples, 1995-1996, no. 26, repro. (shown only in Munich and Naples).
2003
Titian, The National Gallery, London; Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2003, no. 25, repro.
2009
Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2009-2010, no. 42 (no. 43 in French catalogue), repro.
2013
Tiziano, Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, 2013, no. 22, repro.
Bibliography
1725
Descrizione per Alfabetto di cento Quadri de’ più famosi, e dipinti da i più insigni pittori del modo, che si osservano nella Galleria Farnese di Parma... Parma[?], 1725: 46.
1769
La Lande, Jérôme de. Voyage d’un français en Italie fait dans les années 1765 et 1766. 8 vols. Paris, 1769: 6:174.
1788
Sigismondo, Giuseppe. Descrizione della città di Napoli e suoi borghi. 3 vols. Naples, 1788-1789: 3(1789):48.
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Ronchini, Amadeo. “Delle relazioni di Tiziano coi Farnesi.” Atti e Memorie delle RR Deputazioni di Storia Patria per le Provincie Modenesi e Parmensi 2 (1864):129-130, 145.
1870
Campori, Giuseppe. Raccolta di Cataloghi ed Inventarii Inediti. Modena, 1870: 239.
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Crowe, Joseph Archer, and Giovanni Battista Cavalcaselle. Titian, His Life and Times. 2 vols. London, 1877: 2:75-79.
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1932
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1933
Suida, Wilhelm. Tizian. Zürich and Leipzig, 1933: 89-90, 103, 165.
1936
Berenson, Bernard. Pitture italiane del rinascimento: catalogo dei principali artisti e delle loro opere con un indice dei luoghi. Translated by Emilio Cecchi. Milan, 1936: 494.
1936
Tietze, Hans. Tizian: Leben und Werk. 2 vols. Vienna, 1936: 1:174, 307.
1939
Kelly, Francis M. “Note on an Italian Portrait at Doughty House.” The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 75 (August 1939): 75-77.
1940
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1944
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1950
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1951
King, Marian. Portfolio Number 3. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1951: no. 3, color repro.
1951
Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Collection Acquired by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation 1945-1951. Introduction by John Walker, text by William E. Suida. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1951: 114, no. 47, repro.
1952
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1953
Pallucchini, Rodolfo. Tiziano. Lezioni di storia dell’arte. 2 vols. Bologna, 1953-1954: 1:209, 212; 2:11, 16.
1955
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1957
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1959
Kress 1957, 191, repro.
1959
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1959
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Early Italian Painting in the National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C., 1959 (Booklet Number Three in Ten Schools of Painting in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.): pl. 75
1960
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1960
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1961
Seymour 1961 (Kress), 120, repro. pl. 113, 115
1962
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1962
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1962
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1964
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1965
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1966
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1966
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1967
Fabbro, Celso. “Tiziano, i Farnese e l’abbazia di San Pietro in Colle nel Cenedese.” Archivio Storico di Belluno, Feltre e Cadore 38 (1967): 3.
1968
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1968
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1968
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Italian Schools, XV-XVI Century. London, 1968: 182-183, fig. 428-429.
1969
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1969
Pallucchini, Rodolfo. Tiziano. 2 vols. Florence, 1969: 1:99, 107, 277.
1969
Valcanover, Francesco. L’opera completa di Tiziano. Milan, 1969: 112-113.
1969
Wethey, Harold. The Paintings of Titian. 3 vols. London, 1969-1975: 2(1971):28, 98-99.
1972
Fredericksen, Burton B., and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972: 203, 513, 647.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 346, repro.
1976
Gallego, Julian. “El retrato en Tiziano.” Goya 135 (1976): 171.
1976
Krsek, Ivo. Tizian. Prague, 1976: 65.
1976
Pozza, Neri. Tiziano. Milan, 1976: 251.
1976
Rizzati, Maria Luisa. Tiziano. Milan, 1976: 93.
1977
Pallucchini, Rodolfo. Profilo di Tiziano. Florence, 1977: 39.
1978
Rosand, David. Titian. New York, 1978: 114.
1979
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. 2 vols. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1979: I:483-485, II:pl. 344
1980
Meller, Peter. “Il lessico ritrattistico di Tiziano.” In Tiziano e Venezia: Convegno internazionale di studi (1976). Vicenza, 1980: 332.
1980
Pallucchini, Rodolfo. “Tiziano e la problematica del Manierismo.” In Tiziano e Venezia: Convegno internazionale di studi (1976). Vicenza, 1980: 401.
1983
Martineau, Jane, and Charles Hope. The Genius of Venice, 1500-1600. Exh. cat. Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1983: 225.
1983
Ramsden, E. H. “Come, take this Lute”: A Quest for Identities in Italian Renaissance Portraiture. Salisbury, 1983: 64, 193.
1984
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1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 396, repro.
1986
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1987
Bertini, Giuseppe. La Galleria del Duca di Parma. Storia di una Collezione. Bologna, 1987: 41, 57, 62, 89.
1987
Wethey, Harold E. Titian and His Drawings, with Reference to Giorgione and Some Close Contemporaries. Princeton, 1987: 83 n.80, 98 n.80.
1989
Freedman, Luba. “Titian’s Portrait of Clarissa Strozzi: The State Portrait of a Child.” Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen 39 (1989): 177.
1990
Campbell, Lorne. Renaissance Portraits: European Portrait-Painting in the 14th, 15th, and 16th Centuries. New Haven, 1990: 178-179, 181, color fig. 194,195.
1990
Titian, Prince of Painters. Exh. cat. Palazzo Ducale, Venice; National Gallery of Art, Washington. Venice, 1990: 244.
1990
Zapperi, Roberto. Tiziano, Paolo III e i suoi nipoti: Nepotismo e ritratto di stato. Turin, 1990: 27.
1991
Zapperi, Roberto. “Tiziano e i Farnese: Aspetti economici del rapporto di committenza.” Bolletino d’arte 76 (1991): 39.
1992
National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 101, repro.
1992
Robertson, Clare. Il Gran Cardinale: Alessandro Farnese, Patron of the Arts. New Haven and London, 1992: 69-70.
1993
Oberhuber, Konrad. “La mostra di Tiziano a Venezia.” Arte Veneta 44 (1993): 79.
1994
Jaffe, Michael. "On Some Portraits Painted by Van Dyck in Italy, Mainly in Genoa." Studies in the History of Art 46 (1994): 141-142.
1994
Jestaz, Bertrand, ed. L’Inventaire du Palais et des Propriétés Farnèse à Rome en 1644, Vol. 3, Pt. 3: Le Palais Farnèse. Rome, 1994: 171.
1995
Fornari Schianchi, Lucia, and Nicola Spinosa, eds. I Farnese: Arte e collezionismo. Exh. cat. Palazzo Ducale, Colorno; Galleria Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples; Haus der Kunst, Munich. Milan, 1995: 203-206.
1995
Tuohy, Thomas. “The Farnese: What a Family.” Apollo 142, no. 403 (September 1995): 64.
1998
Kaminsky, Marion. Titian. Cologne, 1998: 76-77.
1999
Cole, Bruce. Titian and Venetian Painting, 1450-1590. Boulder, 1999: 110-112.
1999
Valcanover, Francesco. Tiziano: I suoi pennelli sempre partorirono espressioni di vita. Florence, 1999: 43, 267.
2001
Pedrocco, Filippo. Titian: The Complete Paintings. New York, 2001: 50, 179.
2003
Falomir, Miguel, ed. Tiziano. Exh. cat. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2003: 192, 370-371.
2003
Fletcher, Jennifer. “Titian as a Painter of Portraits.” In Titian. Edited by David Jaffé. Exh. cat. The National Gallery, London, 2003: 39-40.
2003
Jaffé, David, ed. Titian. Exh. cat. The National Gallery, London, 2003: 136.
2004
Danziger, Elon. The Cook Collection: Its Founder and Its Inheritors." The Burlington Magazine 146, no. 1216 (July 2004): 457.
2004
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 102-103, no. 78, color repro.
2006
Fletcher, Jennifer. “‘La sembianza vera.’ I ritratti di Tiziano.” In Tiziano e il ritratto di corte da Raffaello ai Carracci. Edited by Nicola Spinosa. Exh. cat. Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples, 2006: 40.
2006
Wolf, Norbert. Tizian. Munich, 2006: 67.
2006
Zapperi, Roberto. “Tiziano e i Farnese.” In Tiziano e il ritratto di corte da Raffaello ai Carracci. Edited by Nicola Spinosa. Exh. cat. Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples, 2006: 51.
2007
Humfrey, Peter. Titian. London, 2007: 138.
2007
Humfrey, Peter. Titian: The Complete Paintings. Ghent and New York, 2007: 187.
2007
Romani, Vittoria. Tiziano e il tardo rinascimento a Venezia: Jacopo Bassano, Jacopo Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese. Florence, 2007: 114, 135.
2008
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2009
Ilchman, Frederick, et al. Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice. Exh. cat. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Musée du Louvre, Paris. Boston, 2009: 216-219.
2009
Ilchman, Frederick, et al. Titien, Tintoret, Véronèse: rivalités à Venise. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2009: 276.
2011
Biferali, Frabrizio. Tiziano: Il genio e il potere. Rome, 2011: 161.
2012
Gentili, Augusto. Tiziano. Milan, 2012: 210-212.
2012
Hale, Sheila. Titan: His Life. London, 2012: 437.
2013
Avery-Quash, Susanna. “Titian at the National Gallery, London: An Unchanging Reputation?” In The Reception of Titian in Britain: From Reynolds to Ruskin. Edited by Peter Humfrey. Turnhout, 2013: 224.
2013
Marinelli, Sergio. “Pietro Bembo nella storia della pittura.” In Pietro Bembo e le arti. Edited by Guido Beltramini, Howard Burns and Davide Gasparotto. Venice, 2013: 476-477.
2013
Smith, Zadie. "Man vs. Corpse." New York Review of Books 60, no. 19 (December 5, 2013): 16, color fig.
2013
Villa, Giovanni C. F., ed. Tiziano. Exh. cat., Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome. Milan, 2013: 178-181.
2014
Bouvrande, Isabelle. Le Coloris Vénitien à la Renaissance. Autour de Titien. Paris, 2014: 167-169.
2015
Lacourture, Fabien. “’You Will Be a Man, My Son’: Signs of Masculinity and Virility in Italian Renaissance Paintings of Boys.” In The Early Modern Child in Art and History. Edited by Matthew Knox Averett. The Body, Gender and Culture 18. Oxford and New York, 2015: 108-110, fig. 6.5.
Technical Summary

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