Venus Of Urbino Analysis

Tiziano Vecellio's, Venus of Urbino Analysis

Tiziano Vecellio's Venus of Urbino provides a wonderfully balanced painting with a creative approach that does not hinder the naturalness of the figure in the painting.


Description of The Venus of Urbino

Venus of Urbino Painting by Titian

Venus is naked and reclining on a white sheet on a mattress covered in a floral-patterned fabric. Venus is dressed in a gold bracelet with exquisite stones and a ring on her little finger. She also has a pearl earring on. The goddess's blonde hair is elevated and braided into a crowning hairstyle at the nape of her neck.

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Leaning on two pillows, the goddess supports her torso and right arm. Venus's face is turned frontally as if she's looking at the observer who has essentially placed himself in front of her.

She hides her pubis with her left hand while holding several red roses that had fallen on the sheet with her right. A little puppy is crouched at the goddess's feet. The interior of the painting, which surrounds the protagonist, is decorated in Renaissance style.

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The golden metal candlesticks are then hung on the walls. Spiral reliefs and anthropomorphic elements are employed to embellish the chests, as they were during the time. Finally, square tiles are used to cover the floor.

Two handmaids may be seen at the back of the room, on the right, taking clothes from the chest. One of the two is kneeling. Her companion, on the other hand, wears a sophisticated gown over her shoulder. The two maids are dressed in gorgeous and well-made sixteenth-century gowns.

The Venus of Urbino's Interpretation/Meaning

The work's commissioner, Guidobaldo, planned to use Titian's painting as a metaphor for his young bride Giulia da Varano's marriage. Following political arrangements, the two nobility married in 1534.

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Venus's gesture of hiding her pubis is an iconographic characteristic that can be found in classical statues of humble Venus.

Furthermore, the goddess's sacred flower is represented by the red rose. The rose, for its brief flowering period, represents the beauty that fades and thus alludes to the passing of time.

The Venus of Urbino Elements

The Venus of Urbino Elements

Even in the hands of a goddess, red roses, a symbol of beauty, always escape. The dog, on the other hand, remains motionless in her spot.

As a result, beauty fades with time, whereas marital commitment endures and consoles. The dog, which appears in other Venuses of the time, could be a symbol of marital fidelity.

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The animal figure can also be found in the Venus with Cupid and Dog, which is on display in the Uffizi in Florence. This painting was most likely created in Titian's workshop.

The same animal appears in Eleonora Gonzaga Della Rovere's Portrait. The animal also represents conjugal loyalty in this scenario.

The drop-shaped pearl Venus wears as an earring is another sign that reflects the purity of a young bride. The pearl appears in other artworks as a pendant that hangs from a necklace or a brooch.

The painting was commissioned by Guidobaldo II della Rovere di Urbino.

Vittoria Della Rovere, the last descendant of the Gonzagas, married Ferdinando II de'Medici in 1631 and brought several treasures of art to Florence.

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Titian's Venus was one of them. The inventories of the Uffizi Gallery from 1635 and 1638 do not include Titian's works.

Instead, the artwork was recognized as property in the Poggio Imperiale estate in 1654-1655. Titian's canvas was finally delivered to the Uffizi Gallery in 1694.

The Venus of Urbino Illustrious History

Venus was painted by Titian in about 1538. According to a historical document, the lord Della Rovere wrote to his agent in Venice in 1538, requesting to purchase a nude by Titian. At the same time, Guidobaldo requested the funds from his mother.

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Eleonora Gonzaga, on the other hand, did not present anything to her son since she disapproved of the topic choice. As a result, Titian's Venus stayed at his workshop.

The noble Guidobaldo, on the other hand, did not give up and persuaded Titian not to sell the prized nude to anyone. The artist was most likely compensated and the Venus was delivered to Urbino within a few months. The Venus of Urbino's fame has grown over time.

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The work was described in The Lives, the first compendium of artist biographies, by the painter and biographer Giorgio Vasari. Despite the work's prominence, Vasari did not characterize the goddess's figure. The writer, on the other hand, admired the drapery's craftsmanship.

Vasari's judgment was later rectified by Gaetano Milanesi, who commented on Vasari's writing. As a result, Milanesi declared Titian's female figure to be the best he had ever painted. The commentator also speculates that the work's model was Guidobaldo's youthful mistress.

The Venus of Urbino Rise to Fame

Venus by Titian quickly became a popular artwork. As a result, the Venetian master and other Venetian painters created several replicas and modifications of the work.

In truth, Titian used the same face in several of his paintings, but only the portrait titled La Bella was painted for the palace in Urbino.

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Portrait of a girl in fur and Portrait of a girl with a plumed hat are two further portraits of the same face. According to some historians, this model could have been Titian's youthful mistress.

Titian's Venus gathered a large following throughout time and became a popular attraction at the Uffizi Gallery, as well as being mentioned in several texts. Following its notoriety, many travelers who had the chance to see it in person ordered copies.

The Venus of Urbino Replica

Ingres, a French painter, created a replica in 1821, which is presently on display at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore.

Giuseppe Verdi, an Italian composer, also owned a replica of Titian's Venus, which he kept in his Villa Sant'Agata workshop.

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Mark Twain on The Venus of Urbino

Venus Of Urbino Meaning  

The painting, on the other hand, did not appeal to writer Mark Twain. He described Titian's Venus as the most obscene painting in the world in his 1880 book In A Tramp Abroad. Twain further claimed that it might have been painted for a restroom.

Historians regard Tiziano Vecellio's Venus of Urbino to be one of the most important works on the subject of female nudity. As a result, Titian's work grew in popularity throughout time. The picture served as a model for nineteenth-century depictions of a reclining Venus.

Édouard Manet's portrayal of a reclining Venus in the painting Olympia is an example. The Manet also took up part of the surroundings included in Titian's painting in this rendition updated at his time. Ingres had also duplicated the painting. Manet's copy is presently housed at the Rouart collection in Paris.

The Venus of Urbino Style

Titian was a proponent of Venetian tonalism, along with Giorgione. It was so named because the artwork was entirely constructed using tonal painting.

The little puppy, for example, has a really accurate cut in the work. The goddess's physiognomy, as well as her golden-colored and soft-flowing hair, are typical of many of Titian's female figures.

The Venus of Urbino Medium, Lighting, and Color

The Venus of Urbino is an oil painting on canvas that measures 119 x 165 cm. Because of the gloomy and gray colors in the background, the goddess's warm-colored complexion jumps out.

Furthermore, the bright red section contributes to the overall work's chromatism being turned towards a warm hue.

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Venus's body is in tune with that of the sheet that welcomes it. The handmaid's clothing echoes the purple-red of the mattresses. Colors that lean toward gray and brown affect the remainder of the artwork. Near the loggia and the countryside outside, they become colder and grayer.

The lighting comes from the painting's front as well as a window in the backdrop with a little column in the center. The shadow of the handmaid is projected on the wall behind her by the light source on the left.

The sun is scarcely visible and shines in the direction of the horizon. With a spherical plant and a tree in the distance, a vase stands out against the sunshine. Indeed, outside the window, a golden sky emerges, with a vase of myrtle and a distant tree standing out against it.

The Venus of Urbino Space

The Venus in the foreground has been stretched out and painted with meticulous attention to detail. It takes up the full bottom half of the painting. Her extended body stretches from the left edge, which she almost touches with her elbow, to the right edge, which she meets with her fully extended left leg.

The superimposition of the planes: Venus, the curtain, the background scene, and the countryside that shines through in the distance all give a sense of space. The scanning of these planes represents geometric space.

The vanishing lines formed by the floor line and the tapestry hanging on the wall can only be seen on the right. The Venus of Urbino has a particularly complicated composition.

The oblique line that goes along Venus's torso takes up the first floor. The drape that separates the scene at the bottom divides the second floor vertically. As a result, there are more psychological interest centers. In any event, the Venus of Urbino's form and stare only serve to draw the observer's attention.

The dark wall that forms the female figure's background abruptly ends at Venus' shoulders. This provides a visible vertical line that draws the viewer's attention to the goddess's groin.

Uffizi Gallery in Florence

Uffizi Gallery in Florence


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