55. Attributed to Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian

Pieve di Cadore circa 1488/90 – 1576 Venice

The Miracle of the Infant Child, Made to Speak by Saint Anthony of Padua, circa 1510 – 1511

This sheet is linked to the fresco painted by Titian in the Scuola del Santo in Padua in 1510-11. The group of figures is arranged as a frieze in a very regular horizontal line. In the centre, St Anthony is encouraging an infant to speak out in order to save the honour of his mother, suspected by her husband of adultery. Despite the shallowness of the space and the uniform treatment of the shadows, the diversity of poses makes the narrative clear. The attribution of this drawing to Titian still divide specialists. The arrangements of the figures corresponds closely to the painting, but there are differences in some details of the costumes and gestures. Some art historians have taken these differences as proof that it is a preparatory study by the great master of the Venetian Renaissance himself. Others consider them a sign of a copyist’s lack of understanding.