Tiziano in Bergamo
After the Metropolitan’s The Musicians by Caravaggio, this extremely sensual painting, in which Titian celebrates the passionate love of Mars for Venus, is the second magnificent off-shoot from the exhibition devoted to Simone Peterzano put on by the Accademia Carrara.
The Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna has offered Mars, Venus and Love (1555-1560) by Tiziano on loan to the museum in Bergamo until 25 October. This is a great gesture of international generosity for our museum.
The love story of Mars and Venus is told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a text often used by Titian, who probably read it not in the Latin original, but in one of the many translations of his time. In Ovid’s work, the goddess’s betrayal of her legitimate partner Vulcan, the god of fire, takes place on their conjugal bed, whereas Titian sets the scene in a landscape, combining the episode with the motif of the “pleasant place”, or locus amoenus, and to the idea of a fusion between man and nature that is one of the most characteristic features of Venetian figurative tradition. Titian also interprets the episode in a very personal manner, showing the two lovers in a sensual embrace.
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) and studio
Pieve di Cadore, about 1488/90-1576 Venice
Mars, Venus and Love
Oil on canvas
Gemäldegalerie, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
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