Venere e il suonatore di liuto (1565-1570)

Tiziano (c.1488-1576) & Workshop

Venere e il suonatore di liuto (Venus and the Lute Player)
Oil on canvas, 165.1 x 209.6 cm
Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York

Venus, the goddess of love, interrupts her music making to be crowned with a wreath of flowers by Cupid. An admiring, well-dressed youth playing the lute—the quintessential instrument for love madrigals—gazes at her raptly. In the background nymphs and satyrs dance to the music of a shepherd. Titian and his followers were known for capturing the complex personalities of female subjects. In this painting, Venus is more than an object of desire. In her devastatingly confident pose, she becomes a symbol of the power of women over men. Titian painted this amatory theme multiple times. This one was left unfinished, except for the landscape background, which is fully painted by the artist. (MET)