Overview: This exhibition displayed some of the most significant early books related to Titian and Venetian cultural and artistic tradition in the 16th and 17th centuries. The 18th century is represented by three important artist dictionaries published in London, Paris, and Madrid. All volumes were from the rare book collection of the National Gallery of Art Library.
The exhibition began with the first biography of Titian and several early artist dictionaries. Also on display were important 16th- and 17th-century artistic treatises and early Venetian guide books, which provide contemporary documentation of Titian’s work. Well-known reference works included mythologies, emblem books, iconographies, a biography of philosophers, and a popular, fanciful romance, which was an important source for Renaissance iconography.
Organization: The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art. Caroline Backlund, head of reader services, was curator.