Dubrovnik

St.Blaise, St. Mary Magdalene with Tobias, Archangel Raphael and the donor

  Sv. Dominika 4, Dominican Monastery     more than a year ago
Tiziano Vecellio, born near Belluno in the 15th century, was the leader of the Venetian School of Italian Renaissance in the 16th century. He was one of the most versatile painters, equally adept in portraits and landscapes, as well as mythological and religious subjects. Vecellio was also the most important and most influential artist in the late Renaissance to the Baroque transition period.

This great master of the brush has a special tie to the city of Dubrovnik and in particular with the Church of St. Dominic. Authentic historical accounts go back to 1595 whereby Dominican Serafino Razzi mentions ‘a work by the famous Tizian’ on the altar of Mary Magdalene, thus describing the lavishly equipped interior of the former church of the preaching order. Together with the sainted penitent, to whom the Dominicans were particularly devoted too, the city’s patron St. Blaise and Archangel Raphael with Tobias by the side of the kneeling donator is also shown on the altarpiece.

According to a tradition that has not been confirmed by documents to date, the altar belonged to the noble Pucić family. With the altarpiece, they joined the ambitious artistic order of the Dubrovnik nobility in the 16th century. Over time and with an increased interest in Tizian’s ‘Magdalene’, the need for restorative works was highly regarded. After a period of preparatory research and numerous consultations, conservation and restoration works began in 2001 at the Croatian Conservation Institute in Zagreb; nearly a century and a half after the very last completed restoration which was carried out in Venice. Upon the completion of the restoration, valuable cloth has returned to Dubrovnik where it stands today, and can be seen in the Dominican monastery.

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