Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio, or Titian in English
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio, or Titian in English, was born somewhere between 1488 and 1490 (must have been a long pregnancy!) and died on 27 August 1576 (can't tell you the exact time).
He was an Italian painter and the most important one of the 16th Century Venetian school.
He was known as "The Sun Amidst Small Stars" (a line from Dante's "Paradiso") because of his mastery of the paintbrush. You can see above his self portrait painted in about 1567.
The subject of our video today is Titian's masterpiece entitled "Venus and Organist and Little Dog" painted in 1550.
It is worth remembering that there have been many paintings and sculptures of Venus by many artists over the years, but this one is perhaps the most studied. Traditionally, old masters and sculptors have often used nudity as part of their art, for example Michelangelo's David, Rodin's The Kiss, and Ruben's fully rounded female nudes. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. However, Titian's interpretation of Venus is the one that has caused most controversy. There have been many versions of this painting by Titian, and it is believed that they were perhaps painted by his pupils in his "studio" which explains why they all bare his name.
In the painting Venus is shown naked reclining on pillows playing with her small dog. A musician beside her at the end of the bed is playing with his organ. Although his back is to her, he has turned round to admire her ample figure. This has led to debate and various theories. Why is the musician not facing the musical organ in front of him and has turned round to look at Venus? Was it forbidden in those days to look at Venus? Was he perhaps taking a quick glance? Or was he in that position for longer? How does Venus feel being ogled or admired in this fashion?
Study the painting carefully, look at the characters, what they are doing, and why. Look at the expression Venus' face? And his face too. Remember, this is a famous painting by a famous artist painted over 400 years ago. What is the painter, Titian, trying to tell you here? Why did he paint this scene the way he did? Is it realistic? What does the whole tableau meant to represent?
We will discuss this painting later. The video with music only lasts two minutes to give you time to study it properly.