Sacred And Profane Love

Sacred And Profane Love

Sacred and Profane Love is an oil painting by Titian, presumably painted in 1514.

Sacred and Profane Love

The painting is ventured to have been appointed by Niccolò Aurelio, a secretary to the Venetian Council of Ten, whose emblem shows up on the stone coffin or wellspring, to praise his union with a youthful widow, Laura Bagarotto.

It portrays a figure speaking to the lady of the hour wearing white, sitting next to Cupid and joined by the goddess Venus.

The title of the painting is first recorded in 1693, when it was recorded as Amor Divino e Amor Profano (Divine love and Profane love).


Sacred And Profane Love Meaning

Two ladies, who give off a similar impression sit on a cut ancient Roman stone coffin that has been changed over to a water-trough, or a trough made to resemble a Roman stone casket; although the wide edges here are not found in genuine stone coffins.

The water leaves through a phallic-looking metal spout at the bottom between the two ladies. Similarly between the two ladies is a little winged kid, who might be Cupid, child, and friend of Venus, or simply Pluto. He is looking eagerly into the water, and has his hands in it.

The lady on the left is luxuriously dressed; her garments are perceived as those of a lady, however, some scholars think it's customary wear for a woman of that time.

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In her hair, she sports myrtle, both a blossom sacred to Venus and often worn by ladies. Interestingly, the lady on the right is nude and a white cloth covers the top of her legs and an enormous red mantle is worn over one shoulder. With one hand laying on the water-trough and the other hand is held high holding an item with smoke leaving it, presumably an incense-burner.

The white and silver dressed woman appears to be looking at her observer. Her knees are wide apart and she is sitting on close to the wellspring.

Sacred And Profane Love Meaning

A shallow metal bowl is on the edge of the trough, some have proposed a significant meaning behind the bowl. 

The landscape on the right, behind the undressed lady, depicts by all accounts a walled manor or town. There are two bunnies on the right side of the background, which at the times of the Renaissance represented fruitfulness or desire. The two men in the background appear to be chasing the bunnies. 

The nude figure

There have been various clashing viewpoints of the woman on the right side. The starting point is to distinguish the motivation behind the subject. No direct factual insight has been found detailing the meaning of the various subjects in the composition.

It's suggested that Titian would most likely not have contrived a confounded metaphorical significance himself.

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Other researchers like Erwin Panofsky think the painting depicts Venus and Aphrodite. The idea of Geminae Veneres or "Twin Venuses", a double nature in Venus, was all around created in both old-style thought and Renaissance Neoplatonism, with the earthly Aphrodite Pandemos.

Speaking to lustful love and magnificence, and the radiant Aphrodite Urania speaking to a higher and progressively profound love, utilizing the traditional terms for the figures.  

Sacred And Profane Love Elements

Sacred And Profane Love Elements

The composition has elements not found in his previous paintings. Titian depicts lucidity and consistency of direction of theme. 

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Titian, Sacred and Profane Love, ca 1514

Sacred and Profane Love by Titian 

Medium: Oil
Support: Canvas
Size: 118 √ó 279 cm
Art period: High Renaissance

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