Map­ping Tit­ian is a site that allows users to visu­al­ize one of the most fun­da­men­tal con­cerns of the dis­ci­pline of Art His­to­ry: the inter­re­la­tion­ship between an art­work and its chang­ing his­tor­i­cal con­text. Focus­ing on the paint­ings exe­cut­ed by the Venet­ian Renais­sance artist, Tit­ian (ca. 1488–1576), this site offers a search­able prove­nance index of his attrib­uted pic­tures and allows users to cre­ate cus­tomiz­able col­lec­tions of paint­ings and cus­tomiz­able maps that show the move­ment of the pic­tures over time and space with the appli­ca­tion of var­i­ous fil­ters. The col­lec­tions and maps can be shared with oth­er users or can remain pri­vate. The site also includes a glos­sary with short biogra­phies of patrons and col­lec­tors of Titian’s pic­tures and ref­er­ences with a select­ed bib­li­og­ra­phy of rel­e­vant schol­ar­ship. The main goal of Map­ping Tit­ian is to cre­ate a tool from which new research, dis­cov­er­ies, and expe­ri­ences can be inspired, guid­ed, and shared. The site was devel­oped with a grant from the Kress Foun­da­tion by Jodi Cranston, Depart­ment of the His­to­ry of Art & Archi­tec­ture, Boston Uni­ver­si­ty, Boston MA. We encour­age the Cod­ing Dür­er par­tic­i­pants to reg­is­ter as users of the Map­ping Tit­ian site and will be hap­py to show­case any of the results from the event in March!

The paint­ings by the 16th-cen­tu­ry Venet­ian artist have proven to be an espe­cial­ly rich micro­cosm of pos­si­ble direc­tions for a map­ping plat­form cur­rent­ly under devel­op­ment, Map­ping Paint­ings, of which this cur­rent site would be one part. Titian’s pic­tures involve a vari­ety of con­di­tions and circumstances—a celebri­ty artist with a pub­li­cized rep­u­ta­tion dur­ing and after his life­time, the inter­na­tion­al city of Venice, a reliance on trav­el and let­ters for com­mu­ni­ca­tion and exchange—which also play a role in the “lives” of art­works in suc­ces­sive time peri­ods.  

The data used to gen­er­ate the Map­ping Tit­ian site can be accessed through the excel spread­sheet, which can be accessed here for the Cod­ing Dür­er event. There are two pages to the spread­sheet. The first page lists each paint­ing with the unique iden­ti­fi­er of a paint­ing num­ber and the fixed infor­ma­tion about that paint­ing. The sec­ond page lists each paint­ing by its unique iden­ti­fy­ing num­ber only and charts the changes of own­er­ship and loca­tion (indi­cat­ed by place name and longitude/latitude). Each paint­ing num­ber appears every time there is a change in own­er­ship and/or loca­tion. Some paint­ings are list­ed only one time and oth­ers appear with more than 20 entries. There are addi­tion­al notes and col­or cod­ings on the spread­sheet which are not impor­tant for this event. 

Prove­nance map of Titian’s Europa from 1550–2014

One thought on “Mapping Titian—Data Source Description

  • K. Bender

    I con­sult­ed ‘Map­ping Tit­ian’ fre­quent­ly and referred to it in some of my posts, e.g. in “Déjà-vu (3): rep­e­ti­tions of TIZIANO’s ‘Alle­go­ry of mar­riage’” of Sep­tem­ber 8, 2014
    where I pre­sent­ed a ‘Table of prove­nance accord­ing to two infor­ma­tion sources’ . I added a ‘Table of rep­e­ti­tions’, fur­ther described in detail with pic­tures in an inter­ac­tive sto­ry with time­line and geo-maps and a slide-pre­sen­ta­tion using the web-tool myHistro.
    I used myHistro sev­er­al times in my posts with suc­cess. How­ev­er, the tool is not longer sup­port­ed, though sto­ries with the geo-maps can still be cre­at­ed but pic­tures can­not be uploaded any­more. This is very unfor­tu­nate, because the tool was free and quite pow­er­ful. I do not know about any oth­er one with the same func­tion­al­i­ties.
    K. Ben­der
    inde­pen­dent researcher

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