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Follower of Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian
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Follower of Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian

Portrait of Cardinal Pietro Bembo (1470-1547), bust length, in cardinal's robes and biretta

Details
Follower of Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian
Portrait of Cardinal Pietro Bembo (1470-1547), bust length, in cardinal's robes and biretta
inscribed 'PRETRVS' BEMBUS CAR:' (upper centre)
oil on canvas
23½ x 19½ in. (59.7 x 49.5 cm.)
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
All sold lots not cleared by 2.00p.m. on Monday 6 November 2000 will be removed to the warehouse of:- Cadogan Tate Ltd., Fine Art Services, Cadogan House, 2 Relay Road, London, W12 7SJ. Telephone: 44(0)20 8735 3700. Facsimile: 44(0)20 8735 3701. Lots will be available for collection following transfer to Cadogan Tate, every week-day from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. An initial transfer and administration charge of 3 pounds and 20 pence and a storage charge of 1 pound and sixty pence per lot per day will be payable to Cadogan Tate. These charges are subject to VAT and an insurance surcharge. (Exceptionally large pictures will be subject to a surcharge).

Lot Essay

Pietro Bembo was born of an aristocratic family in Venice in 1470. His father, Bernardo Bembo was a distinguished politician and authority on the Venetian Republic, and it was his enthusiasm for literature that modelled Pietro's life. Pietro's early education was in Florence, followed by Messina and ending in Padua studying philosophy under Pomponazzo. After spending time at the Court of Ferrara where Bembo was to establish a friendship with Lucrezia Borgia, he left in 1506 for Urbino. At the della Rovere court in Urbino he became a leading figure in a group of men famed for their wit and culture, being described by Baldessare Castiglione in 'Il libro del cortegiano' (1528) as the 'archetypal humanist'. After taking minor orders in 1508, he moved to Rome, accompanied by his friend Giuliano de'Medici in 1512. In Rome Bembo was appointed secretary to Pope Leo X where he was to remain until the death of the Pope in 1521. Whilst in Rome, Bembo had fallen in love with the beautiful Morosina, and it was because of her and his ill health that he retired from public affairs to Padua. In Padua, Bembo devoted himself to literary persuits and formed a large library and a collection of antiquities and medals.
In 1529 Bembo was appointed the office of historiographer of the republic of Venice, later to be made librarian of St. Mark's. In 1539 he was recalled to Rome and made cardinal by Pope Paul III, renouncing the study of classics for that of the Fathers and Holy Scripture. Two years later he was made Bishop of Gubbio, later recieving the Bishopric of Bergamo. He died in Rome in 1547, and was buried in S Maria sopra Minerva.

Bembo was a prolific writer in both Latin and Italian, including a history of Venice, poems, criticisms and letters. Amongst the most important of his writings was the 'Rerum Veneticarum Libri XII', a history of Venice from 1487 to 1513, 'Le Prose', a treatise on the Italian language, and 'Le Rime' and 'Carmina' a collection of Latin poems. He is considered one of the earliest writers on Italian grammar and it was his work that helped establish the Italian literary language.
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