Artibus et Historiae no. 76 (XXXVIII)2017, ISSN 0391-9064
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ALISON LUCHS - Titian, Friendship, and the Vienna Ecce Homo for Giovanni d’Anna (pp. 33–51)
Titian’s most monumental work for a private setting is the Ecce Homo in Vienna, a dramatic crowd scene painted for the Venetian palace of his friend (compare) Giovanni d’Anna. Giovanni, also known as Jan de Hane, was the son of the wealthy Flemish merchant Martin de Hane, knighted by the Habsburgs, who had settled in Venice where he became a cittadino originario. Martin’s sons and grandson went on to embellish the family’s adopted city through artistic patronage. The Ecce Homo, whose Northern iconography was first associated with its patron’s nationality by Panofsky in 1956, claims our attention for its complex grandeur, its unusual approaches to devotional content, and its incorporation of portraits of people close to Titian, including Aretino in the guise of Pontius Pilate. This paper considers the impact of friendship on Titian’s conception of a painting on a scale unprecedented for a Venetian domestic interior, with a treatment simultaneously tragic and festive. While many mysteries persist, portrait medals of Jan de Hane and his family may contribute to an understanding of the picture’s meaning.