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Venus of Urbino - Titian


It's been a long while since I've done art post on the blog and thought it was overdue.  My last exam was Art History which was last Thursday.  One of the paintings I wrote about in the exam was the Venus of Urbino which was painted by the famous Venetian Titian.  Mythology paintings are my favourite subject of painting, I just have a fascination with the ancient Greek and Roman deities, hence why Ancient History was my minor.

In the Renaissance mythology paintings were only appropriate for domestic interiors, namely bedrooms.  Figures such as the Venus were models of eroticism, fidelity and motherhood for the new brides.  It was also believed that looking at beautiful figures during conception would make the child beautiful as well.
This painting, especially the pose, was a tribute to the artist Giorgione who painted the Sleeping Venus which Titian completed after he died.  Both the Venus's have the 'pudica' pose which was derived from ancient classical sculpture.  Unlike Sleeping Venus this Venus is in a interior space, paralleling the setting of the painting. In the background two maids are getting her elaborate clothes from cassone which were common gifts in relation to weddings in the Renaissance.
The dog at her feet represents marital fidelity, since it is sleeping it is suggested that it is the husband who is gazing at her which is appropriate through marriage.  She also holds roses which is a symbol of Venus.  The aim of the painting was to instruct the bride to be the perfect Renaissance women, being erotic, fertile and loyal to her husband.  This made them popular gifts for weddings as having children was seen as the most important thing in Renaissance society.
Hope you all enjoyed this post!

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