An Allegory of Prudence

The three heads allude to the three ages of man: youth, maturity and old age. The inscription is arranged in three sections associated with the respective heads underneath.

The left head resembles Titian himself in old age; the bearded central man has been thought to represent his son Orazio, while the youth may depict his cousin and heir, Marco Vecellio (born 1545).

The triple-headed beast - wolf, lion and dog - is a symbol of prudence.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
active about 1506; died 1576
Full title
An Allegory of Prudence
Date made
about 1550-65
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
75.5 x 68.4 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by Betty and David Koetser, 1966
Inventory number
NG6376
Location in Gallery