Artibus et Historiae no. 33 (XVII)

1996, ISSN 0391-9064

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W. R. REARICK - Titian's Later Mythologies

Titian painted a celebrated cycle of six mythological subjects, works he himself called poesie, for Philip II of Spain between 1553 and 1562; today four of this set survive, including the newly rediscovered first version of the Venus and Adonis (Lausanne, private collection). What is less well known is that between 1561 and 1568 Titian painted a second set of poesie that was offered to, but not bought by, the Emperor Maximilian II in 1568. Today, we can identify four of these later pictures, two of them usually thought to belong to the first set. In them, the workshop participation is more evident, but some passages belong with the most powerful evocations of Titian's late style. This revised evaluation of Titian's later poesie we can now add a ceiling painting, the Rape of Ganeymede (Kreuzlingen, Heinz Kisters collection) that has not previously been discussed in the literature on Titian.

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