The Circumcision of Christ Artist: Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian, Venice, ca. 1488–1576)

ca. 1506–7

European Art

On view, 2nd floor, European Art

This is one of Titian's earliest known works. It is influenced by the older Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini as well as Titian's own contemporary Giorgione, both masters in the use of oil paint to obtain rich coloristic effects. Although the picture is damaged, Titian's virtuoso handling of oil paint is still evident.


Oil on panel


36.8 × 79.4 × 3.2 cm (14 1/2 × 31 1/4 × 1 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

University Purchase from James Jackson Jarves

Accession Number



16th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



James Jackson Jarves Collection, Florence, to 1871; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

  • Paul Joannides, Titian to 1518: The Assumption of Genius (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2001), fig. 77.
  • Filippo Pedrocco, Titian: The Complete Paintings (London: Thames and Hudson, 2001), 71, fig. 4.
  • Gilles Fage, Le Siècle de Titien: l'âge d'or de la peinture à Venise: Grand Palais, 9 mars-14 juin 1993, exh. cat. (Paris: Reunion des Musees Nationaux, 1993).
  • David Alan Brown, "Bellini and Titian," Titian Prince of Painters (1990): 63–67, fig. 8.
  • Hilliard T. Goldfarb, "An Early Masterpiece by Titian Rediscovered, and Its Stylistic Implications," Burlington Magazine 126 (July 1984): 420, 425, fig. 47.
  • Charles Hope, Titian (London: Jupiter Books, 1980), 40, note 19.
  • Charles Seymour Jr., Studies in Late Medieval and Renaissance Painting in Honor of Millard Meiss: A Note on Early Titian: The Circumcision Panel at Yale, 1 and 2 (New York: New York University Press, 1977), 392–98, fig. 1–7, 11, 15.
  • Konrad Oberhuber, Disegni di Tiziano e della sua cerchia, exh. cat. (Venice: Neri Pozza Editore, 1976), 20–23.
  • Italian Primitives: The Case History of a Collection and Its Conservation, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972), 32–33, no. 20, fig. 20a–20e.
  • Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972), 600.
  • S. J. Freedberg, Painting in Italy: 1500 to 1600 (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1971), 86–90, 478.
  • Terisio Pignatti, Giorgione: Complete Edition, English Edition (New York: Phaidon, 1971), 129, fig. 174.
  • Charles Seymour, Early Italian Paintings in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1970), 243–246, no. 184.
  • Corrado Cagli, L'opera completa di Tiziano (Milan: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1969), no. 21.
  • Harold Edwin Wethey, The Paintings of Titian Complete Edition, 1 (London: Phaidon, 1969), 171, no. X-8.
  • Fritz Heinemann, Giovanni Bellini e I Belliniani (Venice: Neri Pozza Editore, 1962), 25, no. 98.e.
  • Bernard Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, 1 (London: Phaidon Press, 1957), 84.
  • Mrs. Francis Steegmuller, The Two Lives of James Jackson Jarves (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1951), 304.
  • George Martin Richter and Georges de Batz, Giorgione and His Circle, exh. cat. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University, 1942), 27, no. 7.
  • Wilhelm Suida, Le Titien (Paris: A. Weber, 1935), 16, 185, fig. 311.
  • Lionello Venturi, Italian Paintings in America, 1 (New York: E. Weyhe, Inc., 1933), fig. 504.
  • Frank Jewett Mather Jr., "The Jarves Collection," Yale Alumni Magazine (May 1914): 965–70, fig. 77.
  • William Rankin, "Some Early Italian Pictures in the Jarves Collection of the Yale School of Fine Arts at New Haven," American Journal of Archaeology 10 (April-June 1895): 150, no. 77.
  • Catalogue of the Jarves Collection of Early Italian Pictures (Boston: W. F. Brown, 1871), 231–33, no. 95, ill.
  • Russell Sturgis, Jr., Manual of the Jarves Collection of Early Italian Pictures (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1868), 70–71, no. 77.
  • David Alan Brown, "Titian and Bellini: from pupil to rival," Arte Cristiana 93 (November–December 2005): 425–42, fig. 3.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

religious art

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