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Titian, Venus Rising from the Sea (‘Venus Anadyomene’), c.1520/25. Canvas, 75,8 x 57,6 cm. Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland.

THE HAGUE.- From 10 October through 7 December 2014, a major work by Titian is being exhibited at the Prince William Gallery at the Buitenhof in The Hague. The painting, Venus Rising from the Sea (‘Venus Anadyomene’), is being lent by the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Goddess of love
This painting of Venus is an outstanding example of Titian’s art. According to Greek mythology, Venus was the goddess of love, who was born as a grown woman from the foam of the sea, Titian depicted her lost in her own thoughts standing up to her thighs in water and wringing out her long wet hair. Her sensual figure fills the entire canvas, and gives the impression that she is physically present. Titian fashioned her as a woman who fulfilled all the beauty ideals of the time: full and round around the hips and thighs, small breasts, creamy-white skin and a luxuriant head of auburn hair. In sixteenth-century Venice, these were the traits of the most beautiful woman one could imagine.

Titian, a master painter
Titian (1485/1490-1576) was the most influential painter from the heyday of sixteenth-century Venetian painting. He had an unparalleled sense of colour, dynamics and natural details, and painted with masterful skill that only increased as he got older. Titian rubbed shoulders with the great, such as emperor Charles V, and achieved high renown amongst clients, collectors and fellow painters.

Series of masterpieces
Titian in the Gallery is the second in a series of international masterpieces to be highlighted at the Gallery Prince William V. The Gallery exhibits one masterpiece from a painter with otherwise low exposure in the Netherlands each year for several weeks. The loan of the Titian is an exceptional event, as there is only one other painting by Titian in the Netherlands (at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam). Last year, Boy bitten by a lizard by Caravaggio from the National Gallery of London was the first in this series of masterpieces.

Princely collection
The Prince William V Gallery is a hidden jewel in the historical centre of The Hague. Stadtholder Prince William V of Oranje-Nassau had the space built in 1774 in order to exhibit his paintings. The walls were covered from floor to ceiling, in order to show off the wealth of his collection. The Gallery was recently restored to its previous splendour, and now displays over 150 Old Masters (including Jan Steen, Rubens and Paulus Potter). Crystal chandeliers, silken wall coverings and lavish curtains complete the regal appearance.


Giovanni Battista Langetti, Titius , c. 1660 – 1665, 109.5 cm x 119,5 cm, Mauritshuis © 2014 Mauritshuis


Antonio Zanchi, Sisyphus , c. 1660 – 1665, 110.4 cm x 119.8 cm, Mauritshuis © 2014 Mauritshuis