CORT, Cornelis
(b. 1536, Hoorn, d. 1578, Roma)

The Trinity in Glory

Engraving, 531 x 380 mm
British Museum, London

Titian used his assistants not just to help him meet his burdensome official obligations, but even more importantly to produce replicas and variants of his most popular compositions. Titian in his later career regularly made - or had made by his shop - replicas or variants of his works as a matter of course, and only later sought to identify a suitable buyer for them. In the same entrepreneurial spirit he also arranged for a selection of his paintings to be even more widely reproduced in the form of engravings in his final years. In 1567, and again in 1571, he went into temporary partnership with the highly skilled Netherlandish engraver Cornelis Cort, with the purpose of producing a set of prints of eight of his compositions, carefully chosen for their variety of subject matter.

Cort's prints were based on a series of very precise drawings provided by the painter. Partly to conform to the difference of medium and function, the painter typically introduced modifications to the original. In the case of the Trinity in Glory, he introduced his own self-portrait at the far right, just below the portraits of King Philip and the other members of the Habsburg royal family.