Join Art Historian Elaine Ruffolo for The History of Venice and the Art of Titian. By the opening of the 15th century, Venice had become the leading maritime power in the Mediterranean and possibly the wealthiest city in Europe. Venice’s holdings on the Italian mainland began to turn a profit, and in turn, public patronage of the arts was on the rise. At the same time, the Venetian school of painting led by the great Tiziano Vecelli (Titian) was reaching the height of its power and influence, a position that it maintained until the last years of the 16th century. In a society as conscious of tradition as Venice, the success of artists depended on their ability to evoke and blend with the glorious past.