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TITIAN. Beauty – Love – Poetry

Category: Exhibition 19. October 2021

In the jubilee year of its 130th anniversary, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is presenting a brilliant show of Titian and his Venetian contemporaries, such as Palma Vecchio, Giorgione, Tintoretto, Veronese and Lorenzo Lotto. The focus of the exhibition is on the image of women, for which a new canon of motifs developed in Italy in the 16th century during the High Renaissance under the influence of Titian and his contemporaries. These new motifs were fed by the mythological models of ancient literature.

As the exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum curated by Sylvia Ferino-Pagden, Francesca Del Torre Scheuch, and Wencke Deiters conclusively conveys, it was the translation of ancient literature into vulgare – that is, Italian at the time – and the publication of the writings in handy, one might almost say paperback, format that inspired the motif landscape and led to a competition between poets and painters.

The exhibition presents the work of Titian and his Venetian contemporaries with works from the museum's own collection – the KHM owns one of the largest collections of Venetian painting in the world – supplemented by extraordinary works from lenders. In the cabinets connecting the main rooms, the exhibition also provides a glimpse behind the scenes of humanism and the flourishing literature.

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