Essay about Museum: Eroticism and Venetian Master Titian

Submitted By Hunternicole23
Words: 1373
Pages: 6

An overwhelmingly powerful sense of both eroticism and wisdom was beaming out of Titian’s Danaë towards me as the viewer. The Venetian master Titian, composed this piece between 1553 and 1556. However, this painting is only one of the five of Titian’s oil-on-canvas versions of this strikingly beautiful mythological princess, Danaë. It has dimensions of 129 cm x 180 cm and was composed in Italy, though it now resides in Naples, Fl at the Capodimonte Museum. However, Danaë is currently at the Ringling Museum due to a tour, celebrating the commencement of Italy's presidency of the European Union’s council. Danaë was commissioned by the Hapsburg monarch of Spain, King Phillip II in 1554. Composed of idealistic qualities of beauty, naturalism, vivid chiaroscuro, and a classical theme, this piece of the Italian Renaissance has found it’s way into the heart of history.

At first glance, I immediately depicted the close resemblance to Titians renowned, Venus of Urbino. Danaë is positioned in an exaggerated, nude, laying down form of contrapposto, of which is a strong symbol of erotic love. This painting exhibits an overall marvelous theme of drama. The expectation of love’s fulfillment, portrayed in the ecstatic expression of the protagonist, her slightly opened lips, and her body positioning. Danaë is overly absorbed in her inner world in a moment of intimacy, and isn’t aware of the spectator. She is signifying the ending to the night of unknowing and destructive material corruption, as she nourishes the philosophers( the intended audience) with her wisdom, of which comes from her breasts as milk, aka, the mercurial water. She also embodies the solar celestial Sophia and she bears her features of the womb.

Color plays a significant compositional role in this painting, which helps split the piece into logical areas, while marking the most dramatic reference points. Contrast, between light and dark hues, along with contrast between warm and cool tones, pours “visual juices” into the overall framework, making it more dynamic, vibrant and fleshed-out. Interestingly, the palette use of a “golden eruption” in the sky is made visible in the artist’s assumption too. The composition was based on color rather than on line. Oddly enough, a type of portal from a divine dimension is suggested, with both a christian and a pagan present. Danaë is a ravishing young woman who is not viewed as an act of sex, like that of Michelangelo's work. She is lying passively on her back across the canvas, intertwined in white linen, a bold sign of purity. Her upper body is slightly supported by the pillows. She is naked, though a piece of cloth rests on her thighs. The only visual sign of her being active are her fingers that are clutching the linen at the side of her body. Above her, a cloud hovers in the center of the room. As a matter of fact, the cloud is an explosion of golden light from which coins of gold are strewn. Danaë's gaze is locked on the bright light, though it is apparent that she doesn't actually see it. She is in a transitory intimate moment of extreme ecstasy, another sign of her self-absorption. On the extreme right side of the painting,Cupid is portrayed as plump and winged while carrying a bow and arrows. His head is turned towards the golden light, staring at the wonderful event with wonder or awe, though his body is turned toward the opposite direction, hinting that he wishes to escape from the puzzling place. The space behind the putto leads to a distant landscape of calm blue skies. The purification of Denaë’s soul is shown as the washing of the dew which is falling from the sky. Behind the cloud of the golden light, a colossal pillar closes off the dark and gloomy background of Danaë's section, which is also blocked off by the curtain present in the corner of the left foreground. Danaë's youthful bare skin reflects the golden light, and the shadowy background heightens the glow of her body against the linen. According to…