Art Lesson 37, Part 22
Discover how Titian Depicted Sky and what Colors he Used
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How Titian Depicted Sky. What Colors he Used
Let’s look at the blue skies in Titian’s paintings separately, as a completely independent subject matter. Undoubtedly, Bacchus and Ariadne is the leading artwork in this respect.
The examination of a sample above Ariadne’s head shows that an underpainting of the sky was made with azurite and white pigments. Further up, the sky gets more intense and deep blue coats of ultramarine was placed over the underpainting based on azurite.
In The Flight into Egypt, all three blue pigments are present. Such pigments are commonly used by Titian in his earlier paintings. Ultramarine was used in small quantities. It was mixed with white and is found in the upper part of the sky on top of the indigo and white underpainting.
Blue mountains in the background were painted with azurite, which was mixed with a little red lake to achieve a purple-blue hue.
In The Holy Family with a Shepherd, a mix of white ultramarine was used for the sky. A small addition of red lake and black can be found in the clouds.
The sky in The Vendramin Family is painted with ultramarine mixed with white.
In this painting (The Appearance of Christ to Mary Magdalene), the cloudy sky was done with warm grey paint that consists mainly of white pigment, with the addition of yellow earth and some red earth in small quantities. This was mixed with stand linseed oil. The blue patches of sky were painted with ultramarine mixed with lead white. The foliage of the trees was painted over the sky.
The skyscape in The Triumph of Love appears quite impressionistic, although a layer analysis confirms that Titian painted it with a strict layer structure. Blue indigo with a bit of red lake was used for the sky’s underpainting. A mixture of white azurite and ultramarine pigments was found in the cloud layers, which were painted with a higher proportion of blue pigment. At the left, the sky also contains white, yellow, and ultramarine.