Mobile menu
After Titian (c. 1488-Venice 1576)

Titian and his Friends 1550-60

RCIN 402841

Your share link is...

  Close

When this painting was in the collection of Charles I it showed only two figures, Titian (on the left) and Andrea de Franceschi, Grand Chancellor of Venice, wearing the scarlet velvet robes of his position. In 1957 an X-ray indicated the presence of the third man on the right, along with two other figures who remain concealed. Alan Bennett's fictional one-act play, A Question of Attribution, was inspired by this painting. It features Anthony Blunt, the former Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures, who in 1979 was publicly exposed as a member of the Cambridge Spy Ring. Bennett uses the discovery of the hidden third, fourth and fifth heads to parallel the exposure of the Cambridge Five.

Cat. 123