Maria H. Loh is professor of art history at CUNY Hunter College. Previously she taught in the Department of History of Art at University College London. She is the author of Titian Remade: Repetition and the Transformation of Early Modern Italian Art and Still Lives: Death, Desire, and the Portrait of the Old Master. She lives and works in New York and London.
Loh's Titian is a 'master dialectician, coupling contradictory details together in an almost subliminal mirroring of forms.' These words, which she penned with regards to the Prado's Venus and Adonis, could easily be interspersed in any of the piercing investigations that this study offers of one masterpiece after the other by the Venetian master. She too is a master dialectician, particularly apt at the art of synthesis--combining heterogeneous approaches such as contextual, formal, iconographical, material, and historiographical analyses into a shimmering whole. Her erudition about Titian's cultural world is staggering yet never smothering, as it is always offered in passing to shed light onto this or that understudied aspect of a specific work, not to provide a definitive key to all its mysteries. From La Schiavona, a portrait Titian painted in his youth, to the unfinished Pieta of his last years, in which she uncovers its echo, Loh constructs Titian's oeuvre as a rigorous, totalizing enterprise--or, to use her expression, as a 'visual dissertation'--yet she makes sure to leave it open to divergent interpretations. Her intelligence gleams on every page. --Yve-Alain Bois, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University With Titian's Touch, Loh has achieved something quite rare, a genuinely fresh and engaging study of an artist whose paintings may be very familiar but are very difficult to turn into a satisfying account. In some ways this book is like a journey that starts from a known place and takes you somewhere you could not have imagined, and does so by interconnecting an impressive depth of knowledge with a highly imaginative approach to images. It is witty and elegant, and always self-aware. And, most importantly, it reconnects the work of Titian with a broader and more contemporary readership. --Rose Marie San Juan, University College London More than anyone it was Titian who launched what would remain for half a millennium the quintessential art object: the framed, autonomous painting executed in oil on canvas. At long last, Loh has given us a book that does justice to this immense historical achievement. Titian's Touch is a peerless introduction to the artist and a mesmerizing primer in how to look at paintings. --Joseph Leo Koerner, Harvard University