The opening of this exhibition has been postponed. We will confirm a new opening date as soon as possible. As you will be aware our Galleries are currently closed which will impact our timescales for opening exhibitions. Thank you for your patience. You can sign up to our newsletter for updates on exhibition opening dates. If you have already bought a ticket for this exhibition, we hope to be able to open as planned but if this changes, we will contact you separately.
“The most influential painter in history”
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); Diana and Callisto and Diana and Actaeon (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.
Find out more
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.
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.
Friends Preview: Titian | Love, Desire, Death
Fri 10 Jul 2020
5:30 - 8pm
Gallery Social: Titian | Love, Desire, Death (for anyone affected by dementia)
Fri 24 Jul 2020
10:30am - 12 noon
British Sign Language (BSL) Tour: Titian | Love, Desire, Death
Sat 25 Jul 2020
11am - 12:30pm
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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