The Painter of Angels



The action begins in the late spring of 1560, at the end of a century ravaged by wars and great historical and religious changes. In that decline, the Venetian painter Tiziano Vecellio is caught in his studio, in front of a sketched canvas. The authoritative, disenchanted Master, now seventy-years-old, is waiting for the visit of the “painter of angels”, a mysterious artist just arrived in Venice, whose incredible gifted artwork was so sublime as to have earned him the title of “Painter of Angels”. Tiziano senses a foreboding danger to his position, fame and standing, won over a lifetime of service to princes and popes. In fact, the arrival of the young artist does upset both the professional and private life of Tiziano and will throw him and his beliefs into inner conflict. In a dramatic crescendo of spiritual revelations, the duel between the two artists will shift from Venice to Bergamo, and back to Venice, until the unexpected, double ending that will add the last brush stroke to the masterpiece.



Once again he was seated before him, very still and patient, in an expanse of light. Using a sharpened pen, the Master set his features in several sketches, above all trying to capture the unique sight of his light blue eyes. They were of an aquamarine colour circled by blue, immaterial and distant, and so similar in colour and expression to that of angels and big felines. Tiziano decided that his face was even more indescribable. It carried the graveness of a Donatello hero as well as the sweetness of a Botticelli cherubim while his soft, light brown hair was curled slightly at the nape of his neck, as thin as a cloud and with hints of amber in it.

While watching him, it seemed that Lorenzo had no past – it was as if the young man had just been born, exactly as he was at that moment, generated from the rays of light in his studio and not conceived in a woman’s womb, brought forth and grown, little by little to the age he now was.

“Speak to me of yourself and your childhood. Hearing others talk shall not disturb me while I am sketching,” he told him. He glanced up from behind his spectacles, over the top of his sketchbook, and looked at him. More than ever, he felt an urgency to investigate that non-existent past and continued drawing his face with feverish marks, as if Lorenzo would vanish before he had been able to fully capture his features.