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Venus Rising from the Sea ('Venus Anadyomene')

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

Not on display

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


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


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

Antiquity, Classicism


  • 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 Accepted in lieu of Inheritance Tax by HM Government (hybrid arrangement) and allocated to the Scottish National Gallery, with additional funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation), and the Scottish Executive, 2003