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Titian: The Last Days Hardcover – Dec 8 2009


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Hudson employs a variety of strategies and tones in this remarkably engaging story. He is at times the pedagogue, the dazzled fan, the nervous tourist, the frustrated scholar, the disgusted critic (especially with verbose and pretentious art historians)…. Hudson does not neglect the artist's personal life, filling us in on what's known about his love life and his children. Most captivating, however, is the author's own journey, from Venice to Spain to Czechoslovakia and elsewhere to follow the story of the great Italian painter. Intense passion and humble scholarship infuse this personal odyssey of discovery with arresting power. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

With wit, irreverence, a keen eye, and a shrewd imagination, Hudson recounts his fumbling search for fresh perspectives on Titian and shares his provocative discoveries.... Like a regal figure on an old, newly restored canvas, Titian, 'a figure of almost limitless creativity,' emerges resplendent from these lively pages. (Booklist)

About the Author

Mark Hudson is the author of two prizewinning works of nonfiction published in England: Our Grandmothers' Drums, which won the Somerset Maugham and Thomas Cook awards in 1990, and Coming Back Brockens, which won the 1994 NCR Award, the precursor to the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best nonfiction book of the year. His novel, The Music in My Head, was published to critical acclaim in 1998. He is a regular contributor to the Telegraph and also writes for the Guardian, the Sunday Times, and other publications. He lives in London.


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Amazon.com: 8 reviews
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Should have been better . . . . March 19 2010
By Waldo Lydecker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Not an art history or even a history book, but rather a travelogue on Hudson's mostly failed attempt to track down facts and place to illuminate a story on Titian's last days during the Venetian plague.
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Another pair of eyes Jan. 14 2010
By Lawrence Gray - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As someone who looks and a picture and rapidly loses interest because it aint moving, it has always been something of a surprise that in days before video a painting could evoke the sort of response amongst the public that say a trip to see Avatar in 3D can nowadays. Fusty old painting hung in gloomy rooms or even contemporary art works hung in garish art centres financed by some arts council or other, have always provoked a rapid movement to the souvenir shop and the tea room and contemplation of my Philistine soul. I'm an arty person, a creative individual, deeply entrenched in esoteric histories, world-cultures, and well dug into the trenches of artistic creation, and yet paintings often seems little more than interior decoration. So it is refreshing to read a work of art criticism and history, that does not just deal with the biographical details, but the response to the art both then and now, along with their own personal relationship with it. It flies in the face of pretension while at the same time maintains their capacity for awe at the achievement and relish at some of the banality of the business of art. The Last Days Of Titian gives one another pair of eyes to look at these things and explains why anyone bothers. Art here is both a window into another world and a mirror reflecting oneself in one's own. Multi-point perspective is the term that comes to mind when reading this trip into the renaissance.
Unexpectedly scholarly; easily accessible descriptions July 21 2014
By Robert W. Pike - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unexpectedly outstanding. Believing this to be only historical fiction, I found excellent discussions of Titian's paintings, as well as others of his time. Criticism: in a book this detailed, there should have been many more reproductions of the paintings discussed. It's best, though often inconvenient, to read this book with your computer handy so that you can see the paintings described by the author. The prose is easily accessible to lay readers.
Great - if you have at least a rudimentary appreciation of Renaissance painting. April 20 2014
By David Ackroyd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If I hadn't spent several weeks a year in Venice for the past decade, not having had much training in or knowledge of Renaissance art, I can't imagine finding this book of much interest. But as something of an autodidact when it comes to art and having spent time admiring the work of Titian and others in the scuolae, churches and museums of Venice, I thoroughly enjoyed this exploration of the last days of this genius.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Highs and Lows March 17 2011
By JAB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book could have started half way through, or changed the title from something other than "Titian: The Last Days," since the book's scope is considerably wider than just when Titian died of the plague in 1576. I sincerely enjoyed the last three chapters, and appreciated the analysis provided in these pages. However I felt that the first half of the book was not nearly as strong, and readers would be better served by reading another source if you want to learn about Titian's life.


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