Exhibition Coming Soon

Titian | Love, Desire, Death

Sat 11 Jul 2020 - Sun 27 Sep 2020

Open daily, 10am-5pm. Thursdays until 7pm


Five of Titian’s greatest works, his epic series of large-scale mythological paintings, known as the poesie, together for the first time since 1704.

Painted between about 1550 and 1562 the poesie are among the most original visual interpretations of Classical myth of the early modern era and are touchstone works in the history of European painting for their rich, expressive rendering.

The series was commissioned by Philip II of Spain, who highly unusually gave Titian an open brief to select his subjects. The paintings depict stories from the Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Because he considered them visual equivalents to poetry, Titian called them his ‘poesie’. He distilled in them the knowledge of painting and visual storytelling that he had acquired over five decades as an artist to create some of his most profound statements on human passion and irrationality, on love and death.

From the original cycle of six paintings, the exhibition will reunite Danaë (1551–3, The Wellington Collection, Apsley House); Venus and Adonis (1554, Prado, Madrid); and Diana and Callisto (1556-9), jointly owned by the National Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland; and Rape of Europa (1562) from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, which has not been lent in over a century.

Exhibition organised by the National Gallery, the National Galleries of Scotland, the Museo Nacional del Prado and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

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Exhibition accessibility

  • Large print labels
  • Wheelchair access


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Gallery facilities

We are currently working on improving our galleries. During this time some rooms will be closed and some facilities will be temporarily removed. There will be limited disabled access to some areas.

Find out more about disabled access at the Scottish National Gallery

  • Information desk
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair access
  • Accessible toilets
  • Wheelchairs available
  • Public toilets
  • Lockers (£1/£2)
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Seating throughout
  • Bike rack

Getting here

The Scottish National Gallery can be found just off Princes Street in the city centre.

In addition to the transport options below there are bike racks at each site and Just Eat Cycle Hire stations nearby.

  • Open daily, 10am-5pm. Thursdays until 7pm
The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL

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Our Friends

Friends of the Galleries get free unlimited entry to all exhibitions, and enjoy a wide range of exclusive benefits including early exhibition access, special events and 10% discount in our cafes.

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