Artibus et Historiae no. 12 (VI)

1985, ISSN 0391-9064

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JUDITH DUNDAS - A Titian Enigma

For Titian's Three Ages of Man (Duke of Sutherland Collection, on loan to the National Gallery of Scotland), the traditional title does not adequately account for some features. There is, for instance, the possibility of a narrative content as suggested by the parallel with methods of illustrating Ovidian stories in early printed texts. In particular, the psychological relationship between the young man and the girl implies that the subject is a story, as well as an emblem of human life. But, beyond both story and emblem, the painting seems, like the Sacred and Profane Love, to point to a poetic reality beyond this-worldly; not only the vanity of human love is represented but also its regenerating power.

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