Titian raises the close-up, half-length picture full of action as painted by his teacher Giorgione to a level of tense drama. The three-quarter length portrait of the protagonist wreathed with laurels contrasts with the shadowy profile of the daggerdrawing “bravo” (Italian: “henchman contracted by a lord”). The scene has not yet been satisfactorily interpreted: perhaps it shows the attack on Trebonius by Gaius Lusius in which Trebonius pulls his sword to kill the assailant – or alternately the capture of Bacchus by Pentheus’s followers.
Overall: 77 cm × 66,5 cm
Framed: 94 cm × 82,5 cm × 4,5 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie
1528 Zuanantonio Venier, Venice; 1636 Bartolomeo della Nave, Venice; 1638-1649 Hamilton; 1659 Leopold Wilhelm, Brussels
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