Titian’s Venus with a Mirror

930 Words4 Pages
There are many different artists from the renaissance period that we consider the forefathers of modern paint or modern art in general. Among the greats like Leonardo or Picasso, there is a man by the name of Tiziano Vecellio also known as Titian. I hadn’t heard of Titian before the trip to the National Galleries in DC, but I felt an immediate connection to his work. Because of this I have chosen to write about his painting Venus with a mirror . Venus with a mirror was painted in 1555. It is a fairly large oil painting (49 x 41 9/16 in.), although digital images do not do it justice.
As we have learned in art history class it was very common for painters to choose subjects relating to ancient cultures such as gods or goddesses of Geek or Roman mythology. Titian’s choice to paint Venus, the goddess of love and beauty came as a reprieve from his usual works, which consist of predominantly catholic iconography and theme. Compared to other work he has done this piece embodies the renaissance ideas of humanism secularism and individualism. This essay will explore the both the visual and conceptual aspects of Titan’s Venus with a Mirror.
The central figure (Venus) dominates the composition and is modeled so carefully modeled that life like quality I believe Titian strived to portray was fully realized. Her body has an over all solidarity and weight that anchors her to the picture plane and demands the viewer’s attention. The technical aspects of this painting are in my opinion far from realistic or perfect. Many of the proportions in the figures are distorted, such as the proportion of her head to the mass of her body. The cupids also have moment where their bodies are not sized relative to what we believe a baby’s bod...

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...ts time because female nudes were very uncommon. Titian depiction of the female body is very idealized . there are no harsh edges or color changes which gives her similar youthfulness to that of the Cupids.
Overall Titian was able to convey the most ideal embodiment of female sensuality and grace all the while still upholding the artistic standards or composition. He took a subject matter(the female portrait) and supported her beauty with imagery that solidified and already iconic ideal

Works Cited

Titian, Venus with a Mirror.1555. Oil on canvas. 49 x 41 9/16 in. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

“National Gallery of Art.” Explore This Work. http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/Collection/highlights/highlight41.html (accessed April 1, 2014).

Gombrich, E. H.. "light And Colour." In The story of art. 16th ed. London: Phaidon Press, 1995. .
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