Family members before the relic of the Holy Cross by Titian Vecellio

Family members before the relic of the Holy Cross by Titian Vecellio

The painting is mentioned in the inventory of the Vendramin collection in 1569. Sold at auction in Venice in 1636. Was in the collection of Anthony Van Dyck. In 1645 it was bought by the Duke of Northumberland. It was in the collection of Northumberland until 1929, when it was bought by the London National Gallery.

The family of Vendramin was one of the most distinguished patrician families in Venice. The portrait depicts Gabriele Vendramin, philanthropist and collector, the customer Giorgione and Titian, and his brother Andrea Vendramin with seven sons.

The depicted kneel before the relic – a cross presented in 1369 by the Chancellor of Cyprus to one of the Vendramins, who headed Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista – one of the most influential associations of laity in Venice. On the portrait of Titian in the center is Gabriela Vendramin, who laid his hand on the altar, to his left, his brother Andrea Vendramin. Behind Andrea, his eldest son Leonardo, below – Luca, Francesco and Bartolo. On the right – the younger sons – Federigo with a white dog, Giovanni and Filippo.

The basis for the dating of the portrait is the fact that Andrea Vendramin and his eldest son Leonardo died in 1547, and the youngest of Andrea’s children at that time was already 12 years old, while in the picture he looks younger. Therefore, the portrait is most likely written in the mid-1940s

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