Profane Love (1514 – 1515) by Titian

Profane Love - Titian - 1514 - 1515

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Artwork Information

TitleProfane Love
Date1514 - 1515
Dimensions65 x 51 cm
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

About Profane Love

“Profane Love” is an allegorical painting by the esteemed High Renaissance artist Titian, dated to around 1514-1515. This artwork employs oil on canvas as its medium and measures 65 by 51 centimeters. Currently, it resides in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria, serving as a testament to the era’s cultural and artistic values.

The artwork presents a solitary figure, likely a woman who exudes an air of contemplative elegance. Her gaze is soft yet penetrating, as if she holds a secret or reflects on a profound thought. The detailing of her attire and the softness of her skin are rendered with meticulous care, reflecting the High Renaissance’s appreciation for idealized beauty and detail.

Adorning her head is a simple yet dignified wreath, while her opulent dress, with its rich green and crisp white, conveys both status and taste. The drapery of the fabric is particularly noteworthy, as it captures the play of light and shadow, a hallmark of Renaissance mastery in representing textiles and surface textures.

The woman’s hand gracefully rests upon a dark wooden casket, whose lid she seems to have just lifted. Inside the casket, one can discern a collection of what appears to be jewelry and precious objects, artistically arranged and spilling slightly out of the confines of the box. These objects could symbolize wealth, earthly possessions, or even the transient nature of material goods, aligning with the allegorical theme of the painting.

The artwork, with its thoughtful composition and allegorical content, offers a glimpse into the philosophical inquiries of the High Renaissance, where themes like love, beauty, and mortality were often explored through symbolic representations. This piece embodies the era’s shift towards a more nuanced and individualized portrayal of human subjects, engaging the viewer in a silent dialogue with both the artwork and the era it represents.

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