Venus Rising from the Sea ('Venus Anadyomene') about 1520

On Display Scottish National Gallery

Titian's Venus fills the canvas. The small shell floating on the water identifies the beautiful nude female as the goddess of love. The ancient Greek poet Hesiod described how Venus was born fully grown from the sea and blown to the shore on a scallop shell. Titian shows the goddess wringing her hair, a pose inspired by classical sculpture and by an account of a painting by Apelles, the most celebrated painter of ancient Greece. Titian's Venus proved that he could rival the art of antiquity and that he could make the ideal appear real. The painting is in exceptionally fine condition and was acquired from the Sutherland collection in 2003.

Glossary Open

Antiquity

A general term for the civilisations of Ancient Greece and Rome. Also used as a general term to describe something very old.

Classicism

A general term for art and architecture based on ancient Greek and Roman culture.

Antiquity, Classicism

Details

  • Acc. No. NG 2751
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 75.80 x 57.60 cm (framed: 103.00 x 84.00 x 15.00 cm)
  • Credit Acquired from the Trustees of the 7th Duke of Sutherland, partially in lieu of inheritance tax, with the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and the Scottish Executive 2003