15 July 2012

Titian's house in Venice

'Titian' garden gate
The artist Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) lived near the Fondamenta Nuove, on the northern shore of Venice. He entertained friends such as the writer Pietro Aretino in his renowned garden, which  backed onto the lagoon. His view, on a clear day, would have stretched as far as the Dolomites, the stretch of the Italian Alps nearest to Venice, where he was born. In the winter from the Fondamenta Nuove the mountain tops are frequently visible, capped with snow. Presumably, like many artists in Venice, he felt nostalgic for the mainland, for he included mountain imagery similar to his birthplace in his paintings.

Although every history recounts the tales of Titian's home by the lagoon, the cityscape has now changed, with the Fondamenta Nuove, a broad paved canalside, constructed in 1589. And it seems that there is in fact some uncertainty over exactly where he lived. This part of Venice is now quite built up, and as usual in Venice houses were added to, altered and adapted over the years, so any house that is still standing may not resemble its original form. The general agreement is that, while the approximate location of Titian's house is known, the original building is gone. There are, however, a couple of plaques claiming to identify Titian's residence, and a little courtyard named after him, though few tourists explore this far.

To find 'Titian's house'
From the Fondamenta Nuove, by the vaporetto stops, turn down Calle de le Tre Crose. This brings you to Calle Botteri; close by is a garden gate bearing a stone inscription in Latin identifying the house of the artist (Titianus Vecellius). The actual building bearing a plaque is further 'inland' behind this gate. From Calle Botteri work your way around walking down Calle Cordoni. Next turn  right along Ramo de la Carità or Ramo del Cristo into Corte de la Carità (the site of La Frasca restaurant). Campo del Tiziano is just off the Corte to the right, with a small well-head at the end. A plaque on the wall, as well as the name of the courtyard, claim Titian for this spot. The plaque reads: "Tiziano Vecellio lived here for 45 years and died here in 1576". If Titian's garden really stretched all the way from here to the present-day Fondamenta Nuove, it is no wonder it was so admired.

You can take a look inside one of the properties on this square - or consider buying - here: http://search.knightfrank.com/RSI120106

Campo del Tiziano. The plaque is on the right-hand row of buildings.
> Titian at the National Gallery
> Titian 2012

Campo del Tiziano is close to the Northern Shore walk from the Italy Heaven Guide to Venice.