Titian’s Allegorical and Mythological Paintings: Venetian Poesie

Titian (1488/90-1576), a Venetian painter of the High Renaissance in Italy, loved colors and myths. The combination of artistic and literary quests provided Titian with a visual frame for the creation of painted allegories and mythological paintings. Under the tutelage of humanist patrons from the court of Ferrara, Alfonso d’Este, Duke of Ferrara, and his wife Isabella d’Este, and the Spanish court of King Philip II, Titian invented and depicted the most imaginative mythological paintings during 1556-1575. These paintings included Worship of Venus, Diana and Callisto, Danaé and Jupiter, The Death of Actaeon, Venus and Adonis, Perseus and Andromeda, and The Rape of Europa (now in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston). This seminar will discuss these works as well as some of Titian’s earlier commissions, such as Sacred and Profane Love, Bacchus and Ariadne, Venus of Urbino, and the mysterious Allegory of Prudence.

Suggested Readings (See the following links):
Profile of Titian (Wikipedia)
Titian Camerino
Titian Mythological Paintings
Ovid’s Metamophoses
Philostratus’s Imagines
M. Tanner, Sublime Truth and the Senses: Titian’s Poesie for King Philip II of Spain
S. J. Campbell, The Cabinet of Eros: Renaissance Mythological Paintings and the Studiolo

Class Recordings:

Class 1 - February 3

Class 2 - February 10

Class 3 - February 17

Class 4 - February 24

Class 5 - March 3

Class 6 - March 10

Group Leader: LIANA CHENEY
Meets on: Wednesdays 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Starting: 2/3/2021
Sessions: 6
Class Size: unlimited
Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion
Weekly Preparation: None
Group Leader Biography:

Liana De Girolami Cheney received a PhD in art history from Boston University and is an emerita professor of art history at University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is author and coauthor of many articles and books, including Botticelli’s Mythological Paintings (Washington, DC, 1993); Neoplatonic Aesthetics: Music, Literature and the Visual Art (London, 2004); Giorgio Vasari’s Artistic and Emblematic Manifestations (London, 2011); and Lavinia Fontana’s Mythological Paintings (Cambridge, 2020).