Bembismo, Jacopo Bassano, Latin, Pietro Bembo, Titian, Vernacular
Portrait of a Cardinal
Oil on canvas, 58 x 46 cm
Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest
Web Gallery of Art
It appears the portrait of Cardinal Pietro Bembo (20 May 1470 – 18 January 1547) published in a post dated 27 January 2016 is not by Titian (1488/1490 – 27 August 1576). It is by Jacopo Bassano (1510 – 14 February 1592) and it was painted in c. 1545, a few years after Titian painted his portrait of Cardinal Pietro Bembo. Bassano’s cardinal is not given a name by the Szépmûvészeti Museum, but I suspect it is a portrait Cardinal Pietro Bembo.
Wikipedia’s entry on Pietro Bembo shows the above painting but it is attributed to Titian, However, the same painting is featured in Wikipedia’s entry on Jacopo Bassano. It is one of the paintings that forms part of a gallery located at the foot of the entry on Jacopo Bassano. The cardinal shown in Wikipedia’s entry on Bassano is not named, nor is the cardinal whose portrait, by Jacopo Bassano, is housed in Budapest’s Szépmûvészeti. It is the “Portrait of a Cardinal.”
Budapest’s Szépmûvészeti Múzeum is closed at the moment, but one may browse its collections online. Budapest’s “Portrait of a Cardinal” is attributed to Jacopo Bassano.
There is a third portrait of Cardinal Bembo. It was painted by Giovanni Bellini. I believe it is a portrait of a young man, but…
Titian (Titiano Vecelli)
As noted above, Titian did make a portrait of Pietro Bembo, which I presume explains the kerfuffle. Titian’s portrait is a more formal of Cardinal Bembo and it is dated c. 1540. It did occur to me that the portrait held at the Szépmûvészeti was wrongly attributed to Jacopo Bassano, but I doubt it very much.
Jacopo Bassano was a great artist.
About Pietro Bembo
The use of the vernacular as a literary language was the subject matter of the post I published on 27 January 2016. In Italy, the vernacular started to replace Latin relatively early and it was called the Petrarchan Movement. Bembo’s “way of making direct imitations of Petrarch was widely influential and became known as bembismo.” According to Pietro Bembo, Petrarch’s use of Italian was a model for the modern Italian language. Petrarch lived in the 14th century (20 July 1304 – 19 July 1374).
Other models were Giovanni Boccaccio (1313 – 21 December 1375) and, to a lesser extent, Dante Alighieri (c. 1265 – 1321). (See Pietro Bembo, Wikipedia.) In the Italian states, the vernacular, Italian, started to be used as a literary language at the beginning of the 14th century, which is an early date. It precedes the Renaissance which began when the Byzantine Empire fell to the Ottoman Turks, in 1453. However, the scholars who fled to Italy were Greek scholars.
Yes, I am writing my book, despite limitations.
Wishing all of you a very Happy Easter ♥
- Pietro Bembo by Titian, and the Vernacular (27 January 2016)
- The Petrarchan Movement (6 December 2011)
 “Pietro Bembo”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 26 mars. 2016
Philippe Jaroussky sings Vivaldi
© Micheline Walker
26 March 2016