Diana and Actaeon1556
"I am so glad that the National Galleries of Scotland fought so hard to get this painting. For Scotland to have paintings of this quality and magnitude says much about our confidence and cultural ambitions. I believe we will reap huge rewards on many levels for this investment. Titian clearly adored the female form, something many of us today have forgotten how to do. Women are encouraged to starve, pummel and cut bits off our bodies to achieve an idealised shape which, as this painting so beautifully demonstrates, we were never meant to have. I love it!"
Elaine C Smith, actress
While out hunting, Actaeon accidentally discovered the secret bathing place of Diana, goddess of the moon and hunt. Titian explored the dramatic impact of this intrusion through a dynamic arrangement of figures, sparkling light, intense colour and animated brushwork.The stag's skull on the plinth foretells Actaeon's fate, for the outraged goddess transformed him into a stag to be devoured by his own hounds. The picture is one of a series of famous mythological paintings Titian called 'poesie', made for King Phillip II of Spain. The subjects were based on the ancient Roman poet Ovid's Metamorphoses. Titian planned the canvases as pairs, making 'Diana and Callisto' the partner to this work.
- Credits Purchased jointly by the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery, London, with contributions from The Scottish Government, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Monument Trust, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation), Artemis Investment Management Ltd, Binks Trust, Mr Busson on behalf of EIM Group, Dunard Fund, The Fuserna Foundation, Gordon Getty, The Hintze Family Charitable Foundation, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, John Dodd, Northwood Charitable Trust, The Rothschild Foundation, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement and through public appeal 2009
- Medium Oil on canvas
- Size 184.50 x 202.20 cm