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 to “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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