Masterpiece

05.25.13

Western Art's Greatest Hit?

The Daily Pic hits 100K fans, and they get a gift of this Titian miracle.

In celebration of the Daily Pic getting its 100,000th follower, I wanted to show the DP’s fans the single work of art that means most to me – which I’ve decided is this 1542 portrait of the 12-year-old aristocrat Ranuccio Farnese, painted by Titian and now in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington. I’m not saying (quite) that this is the most important work of Western art. I’ve already voted for Velazquez’s “Las Meninas” as filling that spot. I just feel that this portrait is the earliest work that seems to me fully modern, in its thinking about people and about paint (look at the stunning brushwork on Ranuccio’s doublet) and even about art, as a cultural game played independent of others. Also, it so happens that this portrait gives me huge pleasure every time I see it – maybe because it is one of the rare works where I can’t spot a single flaw, or any room for improvement.

For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.