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Sacred and Profane Love (1514 ca.) oil on canvas cm. 118x279 | Titian

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Sacred and Profane Love , Titian's masterpiece painted when he was about twenty-five to celebrate the marriage of the Venetian Nicoḷ Aurelio (coat of arms on the sarcophagus) and Laura Bagarotto in 1514. The bride dressed in white sitting beside Cupid is assisted by Venus in person. The figure with the vase of jewels symbolizes "fleeting happiness on earth" and the one bearing the burning flame of God's love symbolizes eternal happiness in heaven.
The title is the result of a late 18th-century interpretation of the painting, which gives a moralistic reading of the nude figure, whereas the artist intended this to be an exaltation of both earthly and heavenly love. In fact in the Neoplatonic philosophy that Titian and his circle believed in contemplating the beauty of the creation led to an awareness of the divine perfection of the order of the cosmos.
In this painting of love in the open countryside Titian has surpassed the delicate lyrical poetry of Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione and attributes a classical grandeur to his figures. In 1899, the Rotschilds offered to buy this world famous work at a price that was higher than the estimated value of the Villa Borghese and all its works of art (4,000,000 Lire as opposed to 3,600,000 Lire). However, Titian's Sacred and Profane Love has remained and virtually become the symbol of the Borghese Gallery itself.
Guide to the Galleria Borghese
K. H. Fiore
Paperback, 16,5x23 cm, pp. 128, 141 col. ill.
€ 14,00

The volume introduces Cardinal Scipione Borghese's outstanding collection of art. The works exhibited in this fine 17th-century building include paintings and sculptures from the 15th to 18th century (Raphael, Correggio and Caravaggio), sculptures (Bernini), bas-reliefs and mosaics.
Read more
Erwin Panofsky
Studies in Iconology
Kenneth M. Clark
The Nude; A Study in Ideal Form
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