Artibus et Historiae no. 49 (XXV)

2004, ISSN 0391-9064

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JAMES LAWSON - Titian's Diana Pictures: The Passing of an Epoch

In the two Diana pictures, Titian prompts the observer to reconstruct an extended time for the dramas and to multiply perspectives by empathetic identification with the protagonists. A reconstruction of what Actaeon saw, thought and foresaw is instructive. Within his scene, and that of Callisto, it leads to the identification of a venereal presence within the realm of the virgin goddess, Diana. The pictures are shown to deal with the conflict between the principles of sterility and fecundity represented by the goddesses, in turn treating allegorically the evolutionary shift in Nature and for humankind that came with Jupiter's ascendency.

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