|Italian: Venere dormiente|
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||108.5 cm× 175 cm(42.7 in× 69 in)|
|Location||Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden|
The Sleeping Venus (Italian : Venere dormiente), also known as the Dresden Venus (Venere di Dresda), is a painting traditionally attributed to the Italian Renaissance painter Giorgione, although it has long been usually thought that Titian completed it after Giorgione's death in 1510. The landscape and sky are generally accepted to be mainly by him. In the 21st century, much scholarly opinion has shifted further, to see the nude figure of Venus as also painted by Titian, leaving Giorgione's contribution uncertain. It is in the Gemäldegalerie, Dresden. After World War II, the painting was briefly in possession of the Soviet Union.
The painting, one of the last works by Giorgione (if it is), portrays a nude woman whose profile seems to echo the rolling contours of the hills in the background. It is the first known reclining nude in Western painting, and together with the Pastoral Concert (Louvre), another painting disputed between Titian and Giorgione,it established "the genre of erotic mythological pastoral", with female nudes in a landscape, accompanied in that case by clothed males. A single nude woman in any position was an unusual subject for a large painting at this date, although it was to become popular for centuries afterwards, as "the reclining female nude became a distinctive feature of Venetian painting".
There was originally a sitting figure of Cupid beside Venus's feet, which was over-painted in the 19th century.In the course of painting, the landscape has also been changed at both sides, as has the colouring of the drapery, and the head of Venus was originally seen in profile, making it very similar to Titian's later Pardo Venus . Through a series of x-rays that were completed in the 20th century, researchers were able to conclusively tell that this painting had contained different elements that were painted over. The reasoning behind these later changes are still unknown, although it could have been suggested by the commissioner of the work.
According to the usual account, the painting was unfinished at the time of Giorgione's death. The landscape and sky were later finished by Titian, who in 1534 painted the similar Venus of Urbino , and several other reclining female nudes, such as his much repeated Venus and Musician and Danaë compositions, both from the 1540s onwards. Other elements reused by Titian are the mountains on the horizon at left, which reappear in The Gypsy Madonna (c. 1511, Vienna) and the buildings on the right, seen again in the Noli me tangere of c. 1514 (National Gallery).
The painting is usually identified with one, including a Cupid, described in the collection of Girolamo Marcello in 1525 by Marcantonio Michiel, a Venetian patrician interested in art, who left notes compiled between about 1521 and 1543 on paintings he saw. He describes the painting as by Giorgione, but with the landscape completed by Titian, and until very recently this double attribution has been generally accepted, despite art historians knowing that "Giorgiones" were already rare and over-attributed even by this early date. At least by the time Carlo Ridolfi saw the Marcello painting, about a century later, Cupid was holding a bird, whereas in the Dresden painting (viewed in x-rays) he seems to be pointing his bow, perhaps at the viewer, although his pose is hard to decipher. It remains possible that the Marcello painting is not in fact the one now in Dresden, or that it is, but that the information Michiel was presumably given as to its authorship is incorrect.
Marcello married in 1507, and it has been suggested that he commissioned the painting to celebrate this; the suitability of a reclining nude as a marriage picture has also been explored in connection with the Venus of Urbino.
The painting was bought from a French dealer for Augustus the Strong of Saxony in 1695 as a Giorgione, but by 1722 was described in a catalogue as the "Famous Venus lying in a landscape by Titian". By the early 19th century it was thought to be a copy after Titian. It was not identified with the painting Michiel saw before the 19th century, when Giovanni Morelli proposed this, following which Michiel's attribution to Giorgione, with a Titian landscape, was mostly accepted for over a century. Any underdrawing was lost when the painting was transferred to a new canvas, probably in the early 19th century.
According to Sydney Freedberg, underlying erotic implications are made by Venus's raised arm and the placement of her left hand on her groin. The sheets are painted in silver, being a cold colour rather than the more commonly used warm tones for linens, and they are rigid looking in comparison to those depicted in similar paintings by Titian or Velázquez. The landscape mimics the curves of the woman's body and this, in turn, relates the human body back to being a natural, organic object.Freedberg writes:
The shape of being is the visual demonstration of a state of being in which idealized existence is suspended in immutable slow-breathing harmony. All the sensuality has been distilled off from this sensuous presence, and all incitement; Venus denotes not the act of love but the recollection of it. The perfect embodiment of Giorgione's dream, she dreams his dream herself.
The art historian Michael Paraskos has suggested that the painting may be an allegory of the island of Cyprus, which was ceded to Venice by Queen Caterina Cornaro in 1489. Paraskos suggests that the painting was created under influence of the exiled court of the Kingdom of Cyprus, which the Venetian Senate permitted to be established-in-exile at Asolo in the Veneto, and that it evokes a sense of loss and longing to return. As well as suggesting the body of Venus is posed to resemble the shape of the island, Paraskos claims that the geographical features surrounding her resemble those that could be seen by travelling from the Lusignan summer palace at Potamia in the south east of Cyprus, towards the Troodhos mountains in the west.
The pose of the figure has been connected with a figure in one of the woodcut illustrations to Hypnerotomachia Poliphili of 1499,but a nude of this size, as a single subject, was unprecedented in Western painting, and to a large extent determined the treatment of the type for centuries to come, excluding, for example, the more explicit treatment in the contemporary engravings of Giovanni Battista Palumba. Although prints had contained many more nude female figures, the two famous paintings of Botticelli, the Birth of Venus and the Primavera , are the closest precedents in painting. The contemplative attitude toward nature and beauty of the figure is typical of Giorgione.
The composition of this painting was highly influential, despite very public display of such images often being restricted for some centuries. The influence of this painting or paintings it influenced can be traced in a number of later reclining nudes such as the Pardo Venus and Venus of Urbino of Titian, the Rokeby Venus of Velázquez, Goya's teasing La maja desnuda , and Olympia by Manet, and other works by Ingres and Rubens, to name but a few.
|Reclining Female Nudes in Western Art (1520–1900)|
Giorgione (,, Italian: [dʒorˈdʒoːne]; born Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco was an Italian painter of the Venetian school during the High Renaissance, who died in his thirties. He is known for the elusive poetic quality of his work, though only about six surviving paintings are firmly attributed to him. The uncertainty surrounding the identity and meaning of his work has made Giorgione one of the most mysterious figures in European art.
Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio, known in English as Titian, was a Venetian painter during the Renaissance, considered the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno. During his lifetime he was often called da Cadore, 'from Cadore', taken from his native region.
Olympia is a painting by Édouard Manet, first exhibited at the 1865 Paris Salon, which shows a nude woman ("Olympia") lying on a bed being brought flowers by a servant. Olympia was modelled by Victorine Meurent and Olympia's servant by the art model Laure. Olympia's confrontational gaze caused shock and astonishment when the painting was first exhibited because a number of details in the picture identified her as a prostitute. The French government acquired the painting in 1890 after a public subscription organized by Claude Monet. The painting is on display at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.
The Rokeby Venus is a painting by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age. Completed between 1647 and 1651, and probably painted during the artist's visit to Italy, the work depicts the goddess Venus in a sensual pose, lying on a bed and looking into a mirror held by the Roman god of physical love, her son Cupid. The painting is in the National Gallery, London.
The Venus of Urbino is an oil painting by the Italian painter Titian, which seems to have been begun in 1532 or 1534, and was perhaps completed in 1534, but not sold until 1538. It depicts a nude young woman, traditionally identified with the goddess Venus, reclining on a couch or bed in the sumptuous surroundings of a Renaissance palace. It is now in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence.
Sacred and Profane Love is an oil painting by Titian, probably painted in 1514, early in his career. The painting is presumed to have been commissioned by Niccolò Aurelio, a secretary to the Venetian Council of Ten, whose coat of arms appears on the sarcophagus or fountain, to celebrate his marriage to a young widow, Laura Bagarotto. It perhaps depicts a figure representing the bride dressed in white, sitting beside Cupid and accompanied by the goddess Venus.
The Assumption of the Virgin or Frari Assumption is a large altarpiece panel painting in oils by the Italian Renaissance artist Titian, painted in 1515–1518. It remains in the position it was designed for, on the high altar of the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari or Frari church in Venice. It is the largest altarpiece in the city, with the figures well over life-size, necessitated by the large church, with a considerable distance between the altar and the congregation. The images above and below are not Titian's work, they are by Palma Vecchio. It marked a new direction in Titian's style, that reflected his awareness of the developments in High Renaissance painting further south, in Florence and Rome, by artists including Raphael and Michelangelo. The agitated figures of the Apostles marked a break with the usual meditative stillness of saints in Venetian painting, in the tradition of Giovanni Bellini and others.
Palma Vecchio, born Jacopo Palma and also known as Jacopo Negretti, was a Venetian painter of the Italian High Renaissance. He was born at Serina Alta near Bergamo, a dependency of the Republic of Venice, but his recorded career all took place in or near Venice. He is called Palma Vecchio in English to distinguish him from Palma il Giovane, his great-nephew, who was also a painter.
Danaë is a series of at least six versions of the same composition by Italian painter Titian and his workshop made between about 1544 and the 1560s. The scene is based on the mythological princess Danaë, as -very briefly- recounted by the Roman poet Ovid, and at greater length by Boccaccio. She was isolated in a bronze tower following a prophecy that her firstborn would eventually kill her father. Although aware of the consequences, Danaë was seduced and became pregnant by Zeus, who, inflamed by lust, descended from Mount Olympus to seduce her in the form of a shower of gold.
A composition of Venus and Adonis by the Venetian Renaissance artist Titian has been painted a number of times, by Titian himself, by his studio assistants and by others. In all there are some thirty versions that may date from the 16th century, the nudity of Venus undoubtedly accounting for this popularity. It is unclear which of the surviving versions, if any, is the original or prime version, and a matter of debate how much involvement Titian himself had with surviving versions. There is a precise date for only one version, that in the Prado in Madrid, which is documented in correspondence between Titian and Philip II of Spain in 1554. However, this appears to be a later repetition of a composition first painted a considerable time earlier, possibly as early as the 1520s.
Jacopo Pesaro being presented by Pope Alexander VI to Saint Peter is an oil painting on canvas by Titian, now in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp.
Salome is an oil painting, probably of Salome with the head of John the Baptist, by the Italian late Renaissance painter Titian. It is usually dated to around 1515 and is now in the Doria Pamphilj Gallery in Rome. Like other paintings of this subject, it has sometimes been considered to represent Judith with the Head of Holofernes, the other biblical incident found in art showing a female and a severed male head. Historically, the main figure has also been called Herodias, the mother of Salome.
The Tribute Money is a panel painting in oils of 1516 by the Italian late Renaissance artist Titian, now in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, Germany. It depicts Christ and a Pharisee at the moment in the Gospels when Christ is shown a coin and says "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's". It is signed "Ticianus F.[ecit]", painted on the trim of the left side of the Pharisee's collar.
The Gypsy Madonna is a panel painting of the Madonna and Child in oils of about 1510–11, by Titian, now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. It is a painting made for display in a home rather than a church.
La Bella is a portrait of an unknown woman by Titian, painted around 1536 and now in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. The work of a mature artist, it shows the woman with Renaissance ideal proportions and a natural expressive force. The composition is clear.
The Venetian Renaissance painter Titian and his workshop produced many versions of Venus and Musician, which may be known by various other titles specifying the elements, such as Venus with an Organist, Venus with a Lute-player, and so on. Most versions have a man playing a small organ on the left, but in others a lute is being played. Venus has a small companion on her pillows, sometimes a Cupid and in other versions a dog, or in Berlin both. The paintings are thought to date from the late 1540s onwards.
Shepherd with a flute, or Boy with a Pipe, is a painting in oil on canvas of perhaps 1510–1515, in recent decades usually attributed to Titian, though in the past often to Giorgione. It is now in the Royal Collection, and in 2018 was in the King's Closet at Windsor Castle. Since at least 1983 it has been called Boy with a Pipe by the Royal Collection; previous titles the collection recognise include Shepherd with a pipe, and The Shepherd.
La Dormeuse de Naples was an 1809 painting by the French artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, now lost. He reused the pose in two later works, Odalisque with Slave (1839) and Jupiter and Antiope (1851).
Venus and Cupid is a painting by Lorenzo Lotto in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It probably dates to c. 1530, but has been dated from the mid 1520s as late as the 1540s.
The Pardo Venus is a painting by the Venetian artist Titian, completed in 1551 and now in the Louvre Museum. It is also known as Jupiter and Antiope, since it seems to show the story of Jupiter and Antiope from Book VI of the Metamorphoses. It is Titian's largest mythological painting, and was the first major mythological painting produced by the artist for Philip II of Spain. It was long kept in the Royal Palace of El Pardo near Madrid, hence its usual name; whether Venus is actually represented is uncertain. It later belonged to the English and French royal collections.
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