Colnaghi Foundation Journal 01 - Page 117



116
TI TIA N / Unidentified Donor Presented to the Virgin and Child by Saint Luke
TI TI AN / Unidentified Donor Presented to the Virgin and Child by Saint Luke
Fig. 1 / Titian, Virgin and
Child with Saint Catherine
and an Apostle, oil on
canvas, Private Collection.
for the Royal Collection at the Restoration.11 There
are many early copies (e.g. figs. 7 & 8), all traditionally
associated with Titian.12
Fig. 3 / Titian, Virgin and
Child with Saint Catherine
and an Apostle, (X-ray
image), Private Collection.
Fig. 2 / Sir Antony van Dyck
after Titian (abbreviated),
Virgin and Child with Saint
Catherine and an Apostle,
pen and brown ink, London,
British Museum.
Titian’s authorship of the Royal Collection’s painting
seems to have remained unquestioned until the early
nineteenth century, but doubts then arose; at one point
it was given to Schiavone, at another to Tintoretto.13
In the early twentieth century its attribution shifted to
Jacopo Palma il Giovane and Palma’s authorship was
accepted in his Royal Collection catalogue by John
Shearman, who noted that Philip Pouncey concurred.14
Nevertheless, Berenson continued to list the picture
under Titian’s name, but as a studio work, as did
Pallucchini.15 The only extended discussion of the
painting was a clear and thoughtful analysis, quoted
in full below, by Charles Sterling in 1954; but it should
Fig. 4 / (overleaf). Here
restored to Titian, Virgin
and Child with a Donor and
Saint Luke, oil on canvas,
Hampton Court, Collection
of Her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth II.
117
be noted that he says nothing of the painting’s facture
and may not have seen it; his account could have
been based on a photograph.16 Sterling recognised the
Titianesque nature of the group of the Virgin, Child
and donor, but rejected Titian’s authorship because
he was troubled by Saint Luke, whom he found
Tintorettesque; he noted additionally that the halotype was not found elsewhere in Titian while it was
frequent in Tintoretto. But Sterling did acknowledge
that comparable types appear in Titian’s Pentecost (he
might have added the Escorial Last Supper) and no later
scholar has been troubled by the identically posed and
characterized figure in the dell’Orologio canvas, of
which Sterling was unaware. I think it is reasonable
to accept that Saint Luke is a male type which Titian
used in the 1550s and early 1560s, perhaps a little
affected by Tintoretto.

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