Diana and Actaeon (1559) by Titian

Diana and Actaeon - Titian - 1559

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Artwork Information

TitleDiana and Actaeon
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions190.3 x 207 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationNational Gallery, London
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About Diana and Actaeon

Titian’s Diana and Actaeon is one of his six large mythologies created for the King Philip II of Spain, completed in the year 1559. Widely considered amongst his greatest works, this painting portrays the moment in which a hunter, Actaeon, bursts in on the goddess Diana and her nymphs as they are bathing. This subject matter is heavily influenced by Greek and Roman mythology and it expresses the suddenness and impact of this intruder’s appearance. Titian’s work is particularly captivating due to its vibrant light and intense colour along with his animated brushwork.

The gravity of this moment has been excellently captured by Titian in Diana and Alectaon, although it is not the only impressive artwork produced by him for Phillip II. For example, another incredible piece from Titain’s complete giant-scale mythology series for Phillip II, is Bacchus And Ariadne from 1523-24 wherein both characters have been painted as incredibly complex figures against a dramatic backdrop created with daring brushstrokes.

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