Paintings in depth: Diana and Actaeon
Titian at the National Gallery
Titian’s 'Diana and Actaeon' both enhances and is enhanced by the National Gallery Collection. It joins the Gallery’s 11 paintings by Titian.
These works include The Death of Actaeon , which was painted as a conclusion to the series of poesie for Philip II, and Bacchus and Ariadne, his earlier experimentation with a subject from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' for the camerino of Alfonso d’Este.
As well as enriching the Gallery’s collection of works by Titian and his Venetian contemporaries - such as Giorgione, Sebastiano, Tintoretto and Veronese - the acquisition sheds light on Titian’s artistic legacy.
Titian's mythologies spearheaded a tradition that culminated in the works by the 17th-century painters Velázquez and Rubens. This innovative approach to both subject and technique, not least the new expressive freedom of his brushwork, had a major impact on the development of Western painting.
The arrival of 'Diana and Actaeon' invites comparison with works in the collection by generations of great artists who were influenced and inspired by Titian's example.