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Daniele Barbaro, Patriarch of Aquileia
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
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Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

Pieve di Cadore, Belluno, Veneto (Italy), 1490 - Venice (Italy), 1576

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) See author's file

Daniele Barbaro, Patriarch of Aquileia

Ca. 1545. Oil on canvas.
Room 041

Described by Lodovico Dolce as a gentleman of great merit and infinite goodness, Daniele Barbaro (1513-1570) was from a noble Venetian family. He was educated to the highest level first in Verona and then at Padua University. A philosopher of neo-Aristotelian leanings, he became friends with important Venetian humanists, some of whom were also portrayed by Titian, such as Pietro Bembo (Washington, National Gallery of Art), and Benedetto Varchi (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum). In 1545 he was appointed supervisor of the construction of the botanical gardens in Padua, the start of a flourishing career in the service of the Republic of Venice which culminated between 1548 and 1550 with his appointment as Ambassador to the Court of Edward VI in England. On his return to Venice in 1551 he was made Patriarch of Aquilea. Around 1566 Paolo Veronese painted his portrait (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) showing him proudly displaying the work which brought him most fame during his own lifetime: his commentaries on Vitruvius´ treatise on architecture (Venice, 1556). In the 1550s Barbaro was not just a theoretician but also a practising architect, designing a palace for Camillo Trevisan in Murano in 1555.

On II March 1545, Paulo Giovio wrote to Pietro Aretino asking him to request from Titian on his behalf a portrait of Daniele Barbaro for his Museo. This has been identified as the painting in Ottawa (National Gallery) which features the name DANIEL BARBARUS, a logical inclusion given the iconographic nature of the display. The Ottawa portrait is identical to the Prado canvas but of inferior quality and given its practically identical size (the Ottawa painting measures 85 x 71 cm) it is likely that Titian painted both works at the same time. We also know that Barbaro was painted in 1548 by Paolo Pase, a pupil of Titian´s.

This portrait was painted when he was a humanist little known outside intellectual circles and is of a surprising simplicity. It shows him as a scholar, hence the only object featured with the sitter is a book, the identity of which is unclear. Given the date of the portrait and the success of the commentary on Aristotle, it seems logical to presume that this is the book that Barbaro holds in his left hand. Despite the sobriety of the composition, its influence on contemporary works by Jacopo Tintoretto has been noted, such as the Portrait of a Young Man (Hampton Court, Royal Collection).

Carlo Ridolfi cited a portrait of Daniele Barbaro in Antwerp in the possession of Lucas van Uffel (who died in 1637), undoubtedly the same painting engraved by Wenzel Hollar in 1650 when it belonged to Johannes and Jacob van Veerle, also in Antwerp. These dates imply the need for care when attempting to relate it to the painting now in the Museo del Prado, bought in London in 1651 by David Teniers the Younger for 1500 Florins for the Conde de Fuensaldaña, who sent it to Luis de Haro. Haro must have given it to Philip IV as it is documented in 1666 in the Pasillo que llaman de la Madonna in the Alcazar in Madrid. It entered the collection of the Museo del Prado in 1843.

Falomir Faus, Miguel, Tiziano, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2003, p.198


Technical data

Inventory number
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
Daniele Barbaro, Patriarch of Aquileia
Ca. 1545
Height: 81 cm; Width: 69 cm
Royal Collection (Royal Alcázar, Madrid, "pasillo de la Madonna", 1686; Royal Alcázar, Madrid, "pasillo de la mudita", 1700, no. 40).

Bibliography +

Madrazo, Pedro, Catálogo descriptivo e histórico del Museo del Prado de Madrid, [s.n.], Madrid, 1872.

Berenson, Bernard1865-1959, The Venetian painters of the Renaissance: with an index to their works, G. P. Putnam's Sons, Nueva York.Londres, 1894, pp. 143.

Ridolfi, Carlo1594-1658, Le Maraviglie Dell'Arte. Le Vite Degli Illustri Pittori Vene, G.Grote'Sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Berlin, 1914.

Lanz, O., A Veronese portrait of Daniele Barbaro, THE BURLINGTON MAGAZINE, 54/55, 1929.

Venturi, Lionello., Contributi. A Tiziano, L'ARTE, 1932, pp. 481-498.

Beroqui, Pedro, Tiziano en el Museo del Prado., Hauser y Menet, Madrid, 1946, pp. 98.

Pallucchini, Rodolfo, Tiziano, I, G.C. Sansoni, Florencia, 1969, pp. lám.298.

Cagli, Corrado, La obra pictórica completa de Tiziano, Noguer, Barcelona. Madrid, 1971.

Wethey, Harold E.1902-1984, The paintings of Titian, Phaidon, Londres, 1971.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: pintura italiana anterior a 1600, Gredos, Madrid, 1979, pp. 179.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 697.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. 255.

Valcanover, F., Titian prince of painters, Marsilio Editori, Venecia, 1990, pp. 298.

Checa Cremades, Fernando, Tiziano y la monarquía hispánica: usos y funciones de la pintura veneciana en España (siglos XVI y XVII), Nerea, Madrid, 1994, pp. 271, n. 46.

Checa Cremades, Fernando, De Tiziano a Bassano. Maestros Venecianos del Museo de Prado, Museu Nacional D'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, 1997, pp. 58.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Pintura italiana del Renacimiento: guía, Museo del Prado, Aldeasa, Madrid, 1999, pp. 196.

Museo Nacional del Prado, La almoneda del siglo: relaciones artísticas entre España y Gran Bretaña, 1604-1655, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2002, pp. 261.

Falomir Faus, Miguel, Tiziano, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2003, pp. 198.

Humfrey, Peter, Titian: the complete paintings, Ludion ; Nueva York: Harry N. Abrams,, Gante, 2007, pp. 196-197, n.141,142.

Trentini,F, Questioni di carattere. Il gioco del retrato tra Erasmo Sperone e Tiziano, Venezia cinquecento, 35, 2008, pp. 210.

Palladio, Fundación La Caixa, 2009, pp. 90.

Frederick Ilchman, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: rivals in Renaissance Venice, MFA: Distributed Art Publishers, Boston, 2009, pp. 202.

Walter, Ingeborg, Tre (o quattro) ritratti 'fiorentini' di Tiziano, Venezia cinquecento, 48 luglio-dicembre, 2014, pp. 27-44 [41-42 f.8].

Martínez Leiva, Gloria; Rodríguez Rebollo, Ángel, El inventario del Alcázar de Madrid de 1666. Felipe IV y su colección artística, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, 2015, pp. 548 nº 814.

Kouneni, L, 'Il vetto di Daniele Barbaro' En:, Daniele Barbaro 1514-70: letteratura, scienza e arti nella Venezia del Cinquecento, Antiga Edizioni,, Venecia, 2015.

Howard, Deborah, 'Barbaro family portraits in the Cinquecento: some observations.' En:, Brepols,, 2017, pp. 41-58 [41 f.1].

Other inventories +

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos II, Alcázar de Madrid, 1701-1703. Núm. 40.
Pasillo que llaman de la Modita [...] 40 / Ytten Ottra del mismo tamaño [vara de altto y tres quartas de ancho] de Vn hombre Con Un libro en la mano Original del Tiziano tasada en Cien Doblones ... 100

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 414.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 414.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 481.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 682.
Tiziano. / 682. Retrato de hombre (figura de medio cuerpo) / Barba negra y cabello castaño oscuro, ropon negro y un libro en la mano. / Alto 2 pies, 11 pulg; ancho 2 pies, 5 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 682.

Inv. Felipe IV, Alcázar de Madrid, 1686. Núm. s. n..
Pasillo que llaman de la Madona [...] {189} Otra [pintura] del mismo tamaño de vn hombre con vn libro en la mano original del Tiçiano

Inscriptions +

Inscribed in red color. Front, lower right corner

116 / [raspado] / den [raspado; semioculta por una etiqueta moderna]
Inscribed in golden colour. Frame, back, upper bar

36 [muy borrado]
Front, lower left corner

Areglarle para el / n 36. retratº best. negro [...] miscelanea ya [...]"
Inscribed. Frame, back, upper bar

Lo restauró José [¿Rivero?] [completamente cubierta con pintura negra]
Inscribed in red color. Stretcher, lower bar, on the right

Exhibitions +

Daniele Barbaro´s Anniversary Celebration
18.09.2015 - 15.11.2015

Bibliotheca Artis: Treasures from the Museo del Prado library
05.10.2010 - 30.01.2011

Palladio 1508 - 1580. El arquitecto
06.10.2009 - 17.01.2010

Palladio 1508 - 1580. El arquitecto
21.05.2009 - 06.09.2009

10.06.2003 - 07.09.2003

La Almoneda del Siglo. Relaciones artísticas entre España y Gran Bretaña, 1604 - 1655
15.03.2002 - 02.06.2002

Pintura veneciana del siglo XVI de las colecciones del Museo del Prado
04.12.1997 - 08.02.1998

Tiziano. V Centenario de su nacimiento
Washington D.C.
28.10.1990 - 27.01.1991

Tiziano. V Centenario de su nacimiento
01.06.1990 - 07.10.1990

Location +

Room 041 (On Display)

Update date: 09-04-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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