TIZIANO Vecellio
(b. 1490, Pieve di Cadore, d. 1576, Venezia)

Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle

Oil on canvas, 113 x 87 cm
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

In 1548, Titian was summoned to Augsburg by the Emperor Charles V. The purpose behind it was to help celebrate the emperor's recent victory at Mühlberg. Titian left Venice in early January 1548 accompanied by assistants including his son Orazio and his cousin Cesare Vecellio. At Augsburg, Titian was set to work on painting portraits of Charles and members of his family. He was also required to paint the portraits of leading members of the Habsburg court. In all, Titian and his assistants executed some twenty portraits during their eight-month sojourn in Augsburg.

One of the portraits painted in Augsburg was that of Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle (1517-1586), Bishop of Arras. He was a French statesman, made a cardinal, who followed his father as a leading minister of the Spanish Habsburgs, and was one of the most influential European politicians during the time which immediately followed the appearance of Protestantism in Europe. He was also a notable art collector, the greatest private collector of his time, the friend and patron of Titian and Leoni and many other artists.