Titian's Venus Of Urbino

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Italian Renaissance painter Tiziano Vecellio, also known as Titian, created one of his most well-known paintings in the year 1538. This work, Venus of Urbino (Figure 1), is an oil painting that depicts a nude young woman reclining on a couch or bed in the luxurious surroundings of a Renaissance palace. Created for the Duke of Urbino, Guidobaldo II Della Rovere, this work commemorated his wedding to Giuliana Varano that took place in 1534. Titian’s work, based on his master, Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus — completed in 1510 (Figure 2) — places Venus in an indoor setting, which engages her with the viewer, making her sensuality explicit. Titian’s Venus of Urbino is perhaps his most well-known painting because of its ambiguous meaning. Various interpretations…show more content…
This work is very interesting because of its many hidden meanings behind it. The most likely meaning procured from Titian’s painting is the allegory of marriage. This painting can be described as a “teaching” model for Giulia Varano, who was to become a wife of eroticism, fidelity and motherhood. There is evident eroticism in this painting that served as a reminder that a woman has marital obligations that she needs to fulfill to her husband. There is a strong sensuality of this painting that was consistent with its private, domestic purpose, which was as a gift from husband to…show more content…
A cassone is essentially another word for a great chest. The housemaid looking down at the young girl as she rummages in a chest is another example that symbolizes motherhood. Titian’s twin cassoni is equivalent to the bouquet of roses and the myrtle plant in that they are all bridal attributes that appear in other Renaissance paintings. These bridal attributes, also seen in Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love and in Lorenzo Lotto’s Marsilio Cassotti, and His Bride, Faustina, finished in 1523 (Figure 5), are just a few examples of the allegory of marriage found in this painting.
These various references to marriage, one may add the dog that dozes at Venus’s feet. This dog appears to sleep peacefully because “the viewer” enters is not an intruder, but the master of the household which was Guidobaldo himself. This painting’s purpose was to be a domestic painting that only a select few would see. The dog himself suggests that the household in question was indeed that of the duchy of Urbino because the same spaniel dozes on the table next to Eleonora Gonzaga a Della Rovere, the duke’s mother, in Titian’s portrait of her (Figure
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