Venus of Urbino 1538 | Oil Painting Reproduction
75 cm
Venus of Urbino 1538
Artist: Tiziano Vecellio (TITIAN)
Size: 53 x 75 cm (20.9 x 29.5")
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Selected size: 53 x 75 cm (20.9 x 29.5")

Titian The Venus of Urbino

Titian, was an Italian Renaissance artist and engraver (also known as Tiziano Vecellio or simply Vecellio), who produced some of the greatest masterpieces in the entirety of art history.

Among these astounding artworks, The Venus of Urbino (1583) is one of the most famous Titian paintings.

What did Titian paint in The Venus of Urbino?

The work depicts a young woman before a marriage rite. She’s about to dress before taking part in a Venetian ritual called “il toccamano”. A domestic ceremony, this event involved the woman touching the hand of her groom. This expressed consent to marry, a potent public symbol in a society where reputation was everything.

Titian’s Venus of Urbino painting utilized common early renaissance iconography, referencing Greek and Roman figurines of the goddess Venus. In this “Venus Pudica” tradition, the woman covers her pudenda with one hand.

Ironically, the pose isn’t employed to protect her modesty, but instead draws attention to the supposedly “hidden” sexuality. The pose also directly references Giorgione’s Dresden Venus (1510-11) for which Titian probably created the background.

Titian’s young Venus reclines on a bed festooned with crumpled white sheets. She gazes directly at the viewer in an almost flirtatious manner, holding a bunch of red roses. Roses symbolized the goddess Venus herself, as well as love and dedication. The sleeping hound at the bottom of the bed also references fidelity and loyalty; an appropriate motif for a marriage picture.

This particular dog also appears in other Titian paintings, notably a Portrait of Federico II Gonzaga. Federico was the father of Guidobaldo II della Rovere, the individual who purchased (and possibly commissioned) the Venus of Urbino.

How is Titian’s Venus of Urbino painting significant?

Titian’s Venus of Urbino is significant as a renaissance masterpiece in its own right. It also offers a fascinating insight into life in sixteenth century Venice.

The detailed description of a domestic setting is unique in artwork of this period. The background offers glimpses into a wealthy home, complete with dutiful servants preparing an opulent blue and gold wedding dress.

Titian’s extraordinary painterly talent is plain to see. With unparalleled deftness in portraying soft yet completely realistic skin, Titian brings the subject to life. Depicted clearly and intensely, the woman’s gaze reveals a genuine sense of personhood.

Purchased by Guidobaldo II della Rovere, the painting formed part of Vittoria della Rovere’s dowry on her marriage to the Grand Duke of Tuscany (Ferdinando II de’ Medici). It is unclear whether the painting is as an erotic depiction of a courtesan or a direct celebration of the marriage.

However, what we do know is that it hung opposite the Hellenistic marble sculpture known as the Venus de Medici for many years, however. This provocative positioning contrasted the beauty of Greek classic idealism with Titian’s modern carnal reality.

Titian’s Venus of Urbino also features prominently in Johan Zoffany’s famed gallery portrait of The Tribuna of the Uffizi, created in the 1770s.

How many paintings did Titian paint?

Titian enjoyed an amazingly successful and varied career. He painted over 266 artworks during his lifetime, created for prosperous international clientele.

This included landscapes, portraiture, spiritual, mythological and everyday scenes with a style that changed dramatically from commission to commission.

As well as the Venus of Urbino, Titian’s famous paintings include some astounding portraits, such as Man with a Quilted Sleeve.

However, Titian’s mythological depictions are rich with color, such as seen from Bacchus and Ariadne and his shocking painting, The Rape of Europa 1560

We offer a 100% money back guarantee or replacement service. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your painting please contact us within 7 days of receipt, advising the reason you are unhappy and we will provide you with all the information you need for its return or replacement.

We ship free to anywhere in the world via FedEx or DHL expedited service with online tracking.

Your painting will be shipped rolled in strong plastic tubing, ready for stretching and/or framing locally. This is the conventional method of transporting hand-painted oil on canvas. Learn more about how your painting is shipped.

We are able to offer a framing service intercontinental U.S. Please contact us if you would like a quotation. Alternatively, should you prefer, we can recommend a framer in your area.

Notes About Your Painting

Please note that replica oil paintings are finished with an additional 10cm (4") of extra canvas on all sides, allowing ample surplus canvas for stretching and framing.

Why settle for a poster or paper art print when you can own a real oil painting on canvas? This is a hand painted oil painting reproduction of a masterpiece, by a talented artist no electronic transfer methods are employed.

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