Focus on the Object
The Subject - Giacomo Doria
on the base of the column and the coat of arms at the top left hand
side of the painting indentify the sitter as Giacomo Doria, who was
younger brother of the Doge of Genoa, Giovanni Battista Doria. Giacomo
was a Genoese merchant who was resident in Venice by 1525.
As Titian was usually a painter of kings and noblemen, Giacomo Doria
must have been of fairly high standing to have sat for such a great
artist. Clues to his social status are expressed in the painting through
his expensive black costume and through the inclusion of a veined
marble column, suggesting wealth and nobility.
The great strength of this work lies in the use of near monochrome
colours, making the details of the face and hands all the more striking.
Note the controlled foreshortening of the thumb, the finely executed
facial features and the noble yet thoughtful gaze of the sitter which
gives the painting psychological depth.
monochrome, the black robes are delineated against the subtly contrasting
background and you can see carefully painted folds as well as a
knot in the waistband, all accentuated through the use of reflected
light. The careful precision of the facial features also contrasts
with the rougher, faster brushwork of the white cuff.