Old Masters Academy


Palomino says that when Titian’s famous painting of the Last Supper arrived at the Escurial, it was found too large to fit the panel in the refectory, where it was designed to hang. The king, Philip II., proposed to cut it to the proper size. El Mudo (the dumb painter), who was present, to prevent the mutilation of so capital a work, made earnest signs of intercession with the king, to be permitted to copy it, offering to do it in the space of six months. The king expressed some hesitation, on account of the length of time required for the work, and was proceeding to put his design in execution, when El Mudo repeated his supplications in behalf of his favorite master with more fervency than ever, offering to complete the copy in less time than he at first demanded, tendering at the same time his head as the
punishment if he failed. The offer was not accepted, and execution was performed on Titian, accompanied with the most distressing attitudes and distortions of El Mudo.

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