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Connections: Titian and Jones

Yesterday afternoon, I spent a little time reading at random in Painting Techniques of the Masters: Painting Lessons from the Great Masters (revised and enlarged edition) by Hereward Lester Cooke, and came across a famous portrait by Titian that, to my eye and mind, could easily have been one of the inspirations for Jeffrey Jones’s oddly proportioned but striking portrait of Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane, created for the first edition of a collection of Solomon Kane short stories, Red Shadows, published by Donald M. Grant in 1968:

As the night wind said to the little lamb: Do you see what I see?


I wonder, does anyone else think that Jones’s portrait of Solomon Kane is basically a self-portrait? Because I sure do.

4 thoughts on “Connections: Titian and Jones

  1. I found another painting by Titian that when combined with your pick better creates the Kane painting. E-mail me and I will send photos to you. Mark L



    Interesting comparison. BTW, Mark, is this your blog? If so, I see now why a post titled “Connections: Titian and Jones” prompted you to participate in the conversation here. 😉

    P.S. In case others are wondering, I should mention the source for the black-and-white “Portrait of a Nobleman” JPEG is the Project Gutenberg eBook, The Later Works of Titian, by Claude Phillips (1898).


  3. Hey Mark! I’ve just located another (duotone?) reproduction of that painting. Taking a cue from the text of Claude Phillips’s book, I did a Google search for “Howard Duca di Norfolk” and came up with this:


    The source is here.

    I also did a search on “Howard Duke of Norfolk” in Google and browsed page by page through my copy of Peter Humfrey’s book on Titian (Phaidon, 2007), and in both instances, I came up empty handed.


  4. “Because we know nothing of the sitter,” writes Claude Phillips in The Later works of Titian (1889), “and there is in his pose and general aspect nothing sensational, this masterpiece is, if not precisely not less celebrated among connoisseurs, at any rate less popular with the larger public, than it deserves to be.” That the painting has continued to be overlooked by generations of Titian scholars and admirers likely explains why it’s so difficult to find a reproduction of the “Duke of Norfolk” online. And it raises the question, if the painting has rarely been reproduced or discussed, where might Jones have seen it in order to have been influenced by it?


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