Diana and Callisto (1559) by Titian

Diana and Callisto - Titian - 1559 - 3

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Artwork Information

TitleDiana and Callisto
Date1556 - 1559
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions187 x 205 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
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About Diana and Callisto

Titian’s masterpiece, Diana and Callisto, is one of the most celebrated and admired paintings in the European tradition. It was originally painted in 1559 for King Philip II of Spain, and is based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses. This style of painting, referred to as “poesie”, was the visual equivalent of poetry. Titian created powerful narratives through his artwork, which can be seen in this infamous painting. The piece depicts the transformation of Callisto after she is accidentally struck by Diana with a vindictive arrow due to her pregnancy with Jupiter’s unborn child.

As well as drawing inspiration from mythology, Diana and Callisto showcases Titian’s ability to use a combination of colour and drama to create powerful compositions. His mastery concerning painting technique has earned him admiration worldwide and it is no surprise that this piece has been deemed one of Titian’s most magnificent works.

Titian also worked on another version of transformation; titling it Diana And Actaeon. Viewers can compare this work with his previous piece Diana And Callisto by looking at how each character is displayed in order to comprehend topics such as fate or destiny more visually as opposed to anecdotally. Both masterpieces depict stories behind ancient myths however they reveal different tales which further enhances secrets behind meaning within them both.; thus exemplifying Titian’s greatness when it comes to artistry.

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