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Shanghai oil painter wins Titian award on anniversary of master’s birth

On the occasion of the 535th anniversary of the birth of the Italian Renaissance oil painting master Titian, Shanghai young oil painter Liu Shuang’s work “The reverie of Pieve di Cadore” won the Titian Art Award, the highest prize in the Titian International Portrait Painting & Sculpture Competition.

Shanghai oil painter wins Titian award on anniversary of master’s birth

Ti Gong

“The reverie of Pieve di Cadore” by Liu Shuang.

The work depicts a portrait of a contemporary Italian painter. He drew a moment of contemplation in his own studio, and outside the window, the view of the central square with Titian’s statue in Titian’s hometown Pieve di Cadore was presented.

The works in the studio remind the painter to engage in and study the popular Tempera painting in Medieval and Renaissance Europe.

In the opinion of Xu Mangyao, a distinguished professor and PhD tutor at the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, “this small-sized artwork, which won the highest prize in the competition, shows that Liu is a young painter with a solid foundation in painting, skilled oil painting techniques, and rich creative experience.

“In ‘The reverie of Pieve di Cadore,’ the painter deliberately placed the character between the two paintings placed on the easel. Raised his head from the side, staring intently and thoughtfully.

“Or one is to symbolize the admiration and respect of the people in the painting for the Renaissance painting master Titian, who used Tempera techniques to turn to oil painting; Or one is the affirmation of the integration between traditional Tempera painting techniques and contemporary painting.

“Liu conveys his artistic viewpoint through this painting that art from the Mid-Age and Renaissance still has a profound influence on today’s art, with a long history.

“To emphasize that contemporary is not a departure from tradition. The source of culture will never wither, on the contrary, traditional culture and art are the foundation of today’s culture and art.

“Otherwise, contemporary art will become an elusive mirage. In the painting, Liu’s composition emphasizes the construction of the horizontal and vertical order of the painting, easel, curtains, and buildings outside the window, thus giving the picture the composition and construction of geometric factors in modern painting.”

Shanghai oil painter wins Titian award on anniversary of master's birth

Ti Gong

Liu Shuang and Raffaello Padovan (right) stand beside the award-winning “The reverie of Pieve di Cadore.”

Raffaello Padovan, president of the Italian Association for Cultural and Artistic Exchange, told Shanghai Daily, “It can be seen that in the early stages of creation, the composition of this work is clearly well thought out. This painting presents a clever idea, in which two frames and windows form a unique spatial structure.

“This structure not only achieves the perfect interpretation of the object’s identity, which is extremely important in portrait painting but also represents a larger extension of the picture and a larger field of presentation.

“Time and space flow between the composition of the painting of the former residence depicted by Tempera in the foreground and the oil painting frame in the background, while outside the window lies the bell tower and the almost eternal existence – nature, which has been more enduring over time.”

The art curator and critic added, “In such a field, this young artist sometimes pauses and sometimes ponders. Perhaps he is thinking about how to better improve his creations, or his admiration and nostalgia for the master, as well as drawing inspiration from the master’s works.

“As contemporary oil painters, both the creators and artists of various painting genres have to consider their own contradictions and integration in the context of contemporary painting and traditional painting language. The geometric composition of the contemporary artist’s studio, including scenes and skylights from centuries ago, seems to constitute such a wonderful painting.

“In this work, it is not difficult to see that the artistic nourishment of Titian’s many masterpieces was absorbed in the processing of light, color, and composition,” Padovan said.

The competition aims to pay tribute to the master of Renaissance painting and promote international cultural and artistic exchanges through a cross-cultural practice.

According to the organizing committee of the competition, artists, art college teachers and students, and art enthusiasts from nearly 30 countries submitted their entries.

A total of 109 entries of art sent from Beijing were received for the competition, setting a record for events of such kind.

Shanghai oil painter wins Titian award on anniversary of master's birth

Ti Gong

The central square with Titian’s statue and the bell tower in Titian’s hometown Pieve di Cadore in Italy.