The work of Titian (c. 1490-1576) represents the point of arrival for a whole pictorial tradition: his early emphasis on colour developed into the art of a mature and then elderly painter seeking to explore night and darkness, to dim hues, and to push the use of liquid and dusky tones to the very limit. A prolific painter and the head of a well-organised workshop, Titian was at the same time capable of perfectly meeting new tastes. By renewing and setting the standard for the official images and aesthetics of the ruling class of his day, he became the first truly European artist, praised to high heaven by his admirers. Particularly revealing is Ludovico Dolce’s panegyric: ‘the greatness and the power of Michelangelo, the sweetness and beauty of Raphael and the very colours of Nature herself’. Highly sought after by collectors, disputed by royal courts and pontiffs, the master from Cadore created works that are now on display in museums across the world. This volume exceptionally brings together some of Titian’s greatest masterpieces, including his large altarpieces, in such a way as to illustrate the whole span of his career.