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The Titian Experience: A National Gallery Festival Tour

Issued May 2013

'Titian Experience' mobile cinema tours UK summer festivals

Titian’s Diana and Callisto, acquired for the nation in 2012, will be the subject of an exciting new National Gallery venture. Visitors to arts festivals this summer can step inside a mobile cinema truck, sit under a star-studded canopy and watch a short film that approaches Titian’s work from a 21st-century perspective. They can learn about the goddess Diana and the nymph Callisto, and discover how the painting remains a powerful source of inspiration for a wide range of people today – including poets, artists, schoolchildren and curators. 

Three Titian paintings are reproduced on the side of the truck as if on a gallery wall, with the images in 3D frames. Supported by the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, 'The Titian Experience' truck will appear at Hay, Grassington, Buxton and Latitude festivals between May and July 2013. The project supports the National Gallery’s aim to promote the understanding, knowledge and appreciation of Old Master paintings to as wide an audience as possible. 

Dr Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery, says:

"In 2012, when we acquired Titian’s masterpiece 'Diana and Callisto' to sit alongside 'Diana and Actaeon', I said that no greater pair of Old Master paintings could possibly be secured for the public. Last year, in celebration of these acquisitions, 'Diana and Actaeon' painting went on tour to a number of venues around England and this cinema truck is another accessible and enjoyable opportunity for festival goers to learn more about these major acquisitions for the Nation."

Dr Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, says:

"Mesmerising in conception and execution, Titian’s 'Diana and Actaeon' and 'Diana and Callisto' are two of the most beautiful and important acquisitions ever made by a public collection. We are delighted to be supporting the National Gallery’s Titian Experience, and hope that festival-goers around the UK will have fun learning more about these great works of art."

'Diana and Callisto' was acquired for the public in 2012 for £45 million by the National Gallery, London, and National Galleries of Scotland. This acquisition was made possible with the generous charitable support of individuals and trusts, including the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Art Fund and the Monument Trust. 'Diana and Callisto' and Diana and Actaeon were painted for King Philip II of Spain between 1556 and 1559 and belong to a group of large-scale mythologies inspired by the Roman poet Ovid’s 'Metamorphoses'. At the same time, Titian began another painting associated with this pair, The Death of Actaeon, also in the National Gallery. For some reason, Titian never sent this painting to the king and it remained in his studio unfinished at his death.

For further press information, please contact Katie Carder:

Notes to Editors

Festivals and Dates



     Time      Location

Hay Festival*
[External link]

  23 May–2 June  

Shows throughout the day

  Next to Venue 4

Grassington Festival
[External link]

  22–23 June  


  Festival in the Field

Buxton Festival [External link]

  6–7 July  



Pavilion Gardens Promenade (outside Tourist Information Office)

[External link]
  18–21 July  


  Pandora’s Playground

*At Hay Festival, experts will be presenting the film on 25–27 May and 1–2 June only

'Diana and Callisto' image credit

Titian, 'Diana and Callisto', 1556–9 © Bought jointly by the National Gallery and National Galleries of Scotland with contributions from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation), The Monument Trust, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, Mr and Mrs James Kirkman, Sarah and David Kowitz, Chris Rokos, The Rothschild Foundation, Sir Siegmund Warburg's Voluntary Settlement, and through private appeal and bequests, 2012

The National Gallery

The National Gallery is one of the greatest art galleries in the world. Founded by Parliament in 1824, the Gallery houses the nation’s collection of Western European paintings from the late 13th to the early 20th century. The collection of over 2,300 works includes paintings by Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Turner, Rembrandt, Degas, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Rubens, Velázquez, Van Dyck, Titian and Bellini. The Gallery’s key objectives are to enhance the collection, care for the collection and provide the best possible access to visitors.

Art Fund

The Art Fund is the national fundraising charity, helping museums to buy and show great art for everyone.

Over the past 5 years we’ve given £24m to help over 200 museums and galleries acquire works of art for their collections, from ancient sculpture and treasure hoards to Old Master paintings and contemporary commissions. We also support a range of programmes which promote museums and their collections to wider audiences, including the national tour of the ARTIST ROOMS collection, the Art Fund Prize which rewards and celebrates Museum of the Year, and our Art Guide, a pioneering smartphone app offering the most comprehensive guide to seeing art across the UK. We are independently funded, the majority of our income coming from 95,000 members who, through the National Art Pass, enjoy free entry to over 200 hundred museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions. Find out more about the Art Fund and the National Art Pass at [External link]

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