Titian is considered one of the most important painters of the Italian Renaissance. A versatile artist, Titian painted landscapes, religious compositions, and portraits with equal skill. His bold use of color and powerful compositions were influential to subsequent generations of artists throughout Europe, including Peter Paul Rubens and Nicolas Poussin. Born Tiziano Vecelli c. 1485 in Pieve di Cadore, Italy, he left home with his brother as a child and learned to paint in the studios of Gentile Bellini and his brother Giovanni Bellini. Around 1518, he finished his altarpiece Assumption of the Virgin, which gained him acclaim as one of Venice’s most important artists. Over the course of his life, he was commissioned to paint works for members of royalty and the clergy, including Pope Paul II, who had Titian paint portraits of himself and his family.