About this artwork

The pregnancy of Callisto, an attendant nymph of Diana, goddess of the moon, hunting and chastity, is cruelly revealed. Banished by Diana, Callisto was later transformed by Jupiter her seducer, into the constellation of the Great Bear. The powerful gestures and varied poses of Diana and her nymphs complement those in the composition of the companion painting Diana and Actaeon. These large so-called 'poesie' reveal Titian's mastery of the idealised human figure and of colour and light to convey contrasting textures. As late works, they also indicate the remarkable physical energy he expended using his fingers as much as his brushes to apply paint.

​​​​​​​This artwork is owned jointly, and exhibited in turn, with the National Gallery, London, where it is on display now.

Updated before 2020

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  • artist:
    Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (about 1485/90 - 1576) Italian
  • title:
    Diana and Callisto
  • date created:
    1556 - 1559
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    187.50 x 205.00 cm; Framed: 239.00 x 257.00 x 15.50 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased jointly by the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery, London, with contributions from the National Lottery through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation), The Monument Trust, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, Mr and Mrs James Kirkman, Sarah and David Kowitz, Chris Rokos, The Rothschild Foundation, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement and through private appeal and bequests, 2012
  • accession number:
    NG 2844
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
  • subject:
  • glossary:
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Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

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