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3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  39 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Towards the end of his life Titian didn't finish his paintings. The elderly artist kept them in his studio, never quite completing them, as though wanting to endlessly postpone the moment of letting go. Created with the fingers as much as the brush, Titian's last paintings are imbued with a sense of final, desperate effort - a rawness and immediacy that weren't to be seen ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Walker Books Ltd (first published September 7th 2009)
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Dec 26, 2009 Christine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Received through Goodreads First Reads for free.

Although this book purports to be about Titian's last days, there really wasn't a whole lot of explanation about those last days at all. The author painstakingly explains that he had a hard time finding out anything at all about Titian's late life, but he spends so much time doing this that the book almost becomes a travelogue of the author's attempts to find information about Titian, with a lot of guesswork thrown in. It is more accurately "Findin
Michelle Pape
Jan 13, 2010 Michelle Pape rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike the other reviews that I read, I was not concerned about the majority of the book being NOT about Titians Last Days. I feel to fully understand a man at his end, you must understand the journey he traversed to get to his final destination. Mark Hudson did an excellent job of researching his subject. Honestly it is remarkable what he was able to glean new information from a well trodden path. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. My one consternation was I was slowed down by trying to locate o ...more
Jan 19, 2010 Aurali rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This book was part of the first reads give away. Not the typical book I would have bought on my own but I am really glad that I had the opportunity to read it. The descriptions of Venice by the author were terrific and I learned new things about renaissance Italian artists. The one critique I have is that there were several sections where lists of names seemed to go on forever - they weren't central to the narrative and they really didn't seem necessary.
Oct 15, 2014 Pam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this because I have a biography on Titian in Italian by Alvise Zorzi ...which I struggle through so I thought this might give me a context for that. It did, in a way and I think I did appreciate the (to me) cavalier approach to art critique. The author runs hot and cold in many ways but his descriptions of Titian's works that are detailed here ARE truly wonderful - whether you agree w/ the interpretation or not, he does a bang of job of expressing the 'possibilities'. I loved th ...more
Juliet Wilson
Apr 29, 2011 Juliet Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, history
This book is a wonderful, though sometimes slightly confused, mix of travelogue, biography, art history and general history. The subtitle The Last Days is entirely misleading as it looks at most of Titian's life and a large proportion of his paintings and puts his work in context with the other developments in Venetial art at the time.

Large amounts of the narrative is spent detailing Titian's paintings, and where these paintings are shown in the colour plates in the centre of the book this is wo
Dec 27, 2009 2bnallegory rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jean Poulos
Dec 01, 2013 Jean Poulos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-audio, biography
This book on Titian by Mark Hudson is really not a biography but a story of Hudson traveling around Venice searching for information on the last days of Titian. He takes us on a hunt for the house he died in during the plague of 1576. As Hudson wanders the city he describes the various painting by Titian in great depth and detail. He does attempt to show how Titian evolves as a painter from apprentice to old age. He appears to have a great deal of difficulty finding information about Titian as a ...more
This book is called Titian's Last Days, and yet its subject matter is not confined to the days immediately before and after the artist's death during an outbreak of the plague—it's a full-length biography the scope of which also encompasses the world, artistic and otherwise, which Titian inhabited. For someone like me, who knows almost nothing about later Renaissance painting, this biography was interesting and informative, but I imagine that for anyone more than the curious novice, Hudson is no ...more
Jan 15, 2010 Leeann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wish I had read Titian: The Last Days before seeing his paintings, or, more accurately, I now have a strong wish to see his paintings again. This book explores several of his paintings with reference to the corresponding circumstances of his personal life, peer influences, and politics. Further, it asks questions about the figures represented in the paintings, and Hudson gently poses some ideas about Titian’s relationships with his subjects.
I do agree with some of the other readers that
Nov 09, 2014 F.j.commelin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
A good informative book in which the author travels to Venice and to the house where Titian had spend his last days.
We get Titian's history of his last years.
The more i got into the story the more i wanted to know what would happen next.
The author almost makes me feel the paintings.
But i found it not an easy read throughout the whole of the book.
I just really couldn't get into this one...and I had such high hopes too. I know that with any study of Italian High Renaissance, people and place names are sometimes difficult to pronounce, but that was just the start of my problems with the book. Titian is one of my favorite Renaissance artists, but, maybe it was just the author's writing style, I felt it was too dry, and not drawing me in. One of my other problems was with the way the author switched between a first person narrative set a few ...more
Dec 19, 2009 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I was really looking forward to this book and so was very disappointed in it when it turned out not to meet my expectations. The book should have been called "My Search for the Last Days of Titian" as the author spends just as much time writing about the process of his search and research as he does about Titian's life and work. That is not what I look for in a book on an artist but obviously others will be perfectly happy having those details included. The book also skips around a great deal fr ...more
Izo Brand
Nov 08, 2013 Izo Brand rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. I've read many books on titian, and this was the most readable by a long way. The prose is as sumptuous as the paintings. Art criticism, history, political and social context, and personal reflection were carefully layered in a lucid and compelling way. Yes there was a struggle to get to the facts of those final days and the nature of the artist's personality, but that was in the nature of the project. This was 500 years ago.
Liz De Coster
There was a pretty serious disconnect between what the book is described as being about, and what it actually contained. Although the biographical information on Titian was compellingly rendered, little to no new information was provided. The author's personal stories seemed to intrude on the biographical narrative, and he often repeated information in two or three different chapters.
Bill Tucker
Dec 20, 2009 Bill Tucker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is as much an detail of Hudson's quest to uncover Titian's last days as it was the story (with some supposition) of the end of the artist's life. The author handles deftly the juxtaposition between the inestimable impact Titian had on renaissance Venice and the near malaise encountered in the 21st-century city.
David Bustamante
Enjoyable. I learned quite a bit about Titian, which was my goal with the book. Other reviews complained of the "naval-gazing" nature of the 1st person narration but it didn't bother me too much. I learned something about Venice, which was also my goal since I have a trip coming up there.
Jan 12, 2010 Jeffrey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book, but first person narration is not the way to write a biography. There is more about the author than the artist in this book.
Haley Keller
I thought it was interesting at parts, but I got really bored during other parts.

I forgot to put that I won this from Good Reads First Reads.
James Fluckiger
Jan 23, 2011 James Fluckiger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
very good. review to come
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