Author(s): Sheila Hale
The first biography of Venice's greatest artist since 1877 - a towering work which captures the genius of Titian. Devoted father and loyal friend, Titian was notorious for disregarding authority and was an international celebrity by his late fifties. He was famously difficult but his stubbornness and horrendous timekeeping did nothing to deter his patrons who included the Hapsburgs, the Pope and his family and Charles V. During his career, which spanned more than seventy years, Titian painted around five or six hundred pictures of which less than half survive. His work has been studied by generations of great artists from Rubens to Manet and he is often seen as having artistically transcended his own time. Sheila Hale not only examines his life, both personal and professional, but how his art affected his contemporaries and how it influences artists today. She also examines Venice in its context of a city at the time of the Renaissance, overshadowed artistically by Rome and Florence and growing into the famous historical city it has become. This is an astonishing portrait of one of the most important figures in the history of Western art and a vivid evocation of Venice in its 'Golden Age'.
From the reviews of Venice: "We only used one guide book, Sheila Hale's Venice, for which she deserves a Nobel Prize", Eric Newby, Mail on Sunday "by its power-to-weight ratio, the best guide book I have ever used" David Lodge The Man Who Lost His Language 'An extraordinary and touching achievement' Sir Jonathan Miller "When Sheila Hale's husband John suffered a stroke that left him unable to walk, write or speak normally, she embarked on a battle to restore him to normal life. This book shows how she followed every medical trail! and at the same time maintained an extraordinary loving intimacy with him. She tells their joint story with rare intelligence and feeling" Claire Tomalin "An extraordinary achievement: a moving account of an intimate relationship, and a rigorous investigation into the most up-to-date medical theories and treatments of a mysterious affliction. It raises all kinds of questions about language, communication and the brain. Most remarkable, it's full of jokes and surprises" Anthony Sampson
Sheila Hale is the author of many books including a guidebook to Venice which prompted Eric Newby to declare she 'deserves a Nobel Prize' and by David Lodge as 'the best guidebook I have ever used'. Venice went into four editions and was translated into seven languages. She has written an architectural history of Verona and has written extensively about Venice and the Veneto for a number of magazines and articles, including the New York Times. She is the widow of the late, great John Hale with whom she worked on Renaissance Venice and the classic The Civilisation of Europe in the Renaissance. She is a trustee of Venice in Peril and her last book, The Man Who Lost His Language was one of the most widely reviewed and highly praised books of 2002. She lives in London.