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The Renaissance

This portrait has been accepted by some art historians as by Raphael painted around 1505-6 in Urbino. Others have rejected the attribution without agreeing if the artist comes from Umbria, Tuscany, Emilia or Romagna. More recently it has been accepted as

Portrait of a Man ©

The paintings in this section were produced in Italy during the sixteenth century. Early in the century, the period known as the High Renaissance, artists such as Raphael and Titian combined the study of nature and of classical art with a mastery of technique.

Simultaneously, artists such as Pontormo began to develop a style known as Mannerism, which used intense colours and complex poses. Much painting in central Italy for the rest of the sixteenth century could loosely be described as Mannerist, until the Counter-Reformation prompted a return to a more direct style based on naturalism.

Because of the dominant influence of Titian Mannerism had less of a hold in Venice and Venetian artists were more interested in the sensuous possibilities of the oil medium. Venetian painting was very much in vogue at the British court during the seventeenth century and is thus well represented in the Royal Collection.