Tiziano Vecellio, also known as Titian, he is the leader of the 16-century Venetian school of the Italian High Renaissance. He is also the greatest Vienna artist of the 16 century, the shaper of the Venetian coloristic and painterly tradition. He made contributions to all of the major areas of Renaissance art—painting, altarpieces, portaits, mythologies and pastoral landscapes.
This painting Francesco Maria della Rovere presents Francesco Maria della Rovere, Duke of Urbino. Though at first protected by his uncle Pope Julius Ⅱ (Giuliano della Rovere), he lost power under the Medici Pope Leo Ⅹ, but was able to regain his territories after his death. He was one of the Italy’s most important military leaders and frequently served the Republic of Venice. In 1537, he was mandated to lead the allied forces of Venice, Vatican and Holy Roman Empire to resist the Turkish.
In 1538, Titian painted this portrait for Francesco. It had been painted as a full-length portrait of military uniform, but in order to match up to his wife’s half-length portrait, it was changed to a half-length portrait. This portrait of Francesco was depicted with high individual characteristic. The figure appears healthy and strong, which emphasizes his military exploits and adventurous experiences. His standing posture highlights the shining armor. Behind him there is a sparkling helmet with a flying horse and feathers, which stands in sharp contrast to the red velvet cloth. This painting stresses the duke's military career. Apart from his martial attire, the truncheon in his hand also helps to illustrate this theme.