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European Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Artist: Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), Italian, Venice, ca. 1488–1576

The Circumcision of Christ

ca. 1506–7

Oil on panel

36.8 × 79.4 × 3.2 cm (14 1/2 × 31 1/4 × 1 1/4 in.)
University Purchase from James Jackson Jarves
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.
Not on view
Italian, Venetian
16th century

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


Mrs. Francis Steegmuller, The Two Lives of James Jackson Jarves (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1951), 304.

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.

David Alan Brown, “Titian and Bellini: from pupil to rival,” Arte Cristiana 93 (November–December 2005): 425–42, fig. 3.

Filippo Pedrocco, Titian: The Complete Paintings (London: Thames and Hudson, 2001), 71, fig. 4.

Paul Joannides, Titian to 1518: The Assumption of Genius (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2001), fig. 77.

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.

Terisio Pignatti, Giorgione: Complete Edition, English Edition (New York: Phaidon, 1971), 129, fig. 174.

S. J. Freedberg, Painting in Italy: 1500 to 1600 (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1971), 86–90, 478.

Charles Seymour, Early Italian Paintings in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1970), 243–246, no. 184.

Harold Edwin Wethey, The Paintings of Titian Complete Edition, 1 (London: Phaidon, 1969), 171, no. X-8.

Corrado Cagli, L’opera completa di Tiziano (Milan: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1969), no. 21.

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.

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.

Catalogue of the Jarves Collection of Early Italian Pictures (Boston: W. F. Brown, 1871), 231–33, no. 95, ill.

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.

Russell Sturgis, Jr., Manual of the Jarves Collection of Early Italian Pictures (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1868), 70–71, no. 77.

Frank Jewett Mather Jr., “The Jarves Collection,” Yale Alumni Magazine (May 1914): 965–70, fig. 77.

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 such records is ongoing.