Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for Today: Titian pen drawing

Trees Near a Pool of Water,
Trees Near a Pool of Water, Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

Pen and brown ink, roughly 8×10″ (21x24cm).

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; original is in the Harvard Art Museums, which also has a zoomable image — as well as a version here.

16th century Venetian Master Tiziano Vecellio, commonly known as Titian, gives us a tour-de-force pen study of foliage, reminiscent of Da Vinci’s studies of the natural forms of the world through which he moved.

Titian has artfully suggested the masses of leaves with gestural, directional notations, accented with hatching and contrasted with the more solid forms of the trunks and branches — also defined with directional hatching.

At the edges of the masses, the leaf forms are resolved with more definition. From these clues, our brains fill in the details.

Trees Near a Pool of Water, Google Art Project


4 responses to “Eye Candy for Today: Titian pen drawing”

  1. Remarkable. He also managed to show the thrust of the leaf masses in all its directions in space, including ones coming toward the viewer which are typically the hardest, especially when done so simply.
    That gives it not only great volume but such a great energetic quality too.

  2. Krishan Bhattacharya Avatar
    Krishan Bhattacharya

    Wonderful drawing, thanks for sharing.

    The style of the drawing, and the manner of the hatching put one very much in mind of the drawings of Leonardo, as in his “Copse of Birches” (as I have seen it called) and other drawings of foliage.

    Indeed, the resemblance is so strong that I can’t help but think that Titian had seen some of these (surely he had), and has made the drawing in imitation of Leonardo

  3. I hear the wind among the trees
    Playing the celestial symphonies;
    I see the branches downward bent,
    Like keys of some great instrument.
    ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  4. I wondered who Maurice Sendak studied to get his lovely pen and ink style. Now I know it was Titian…or Leonardo