Artibus et Historiae no. 65 (XXXIII)

2012, ISSN 0391-9064

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ANETA GEORGIEVSKA-SHINE - Titian and the Paradoxes of Love and Art in Venus and Adonis

Titian’s Venus and Adonis has long been praised both with regard to its affective complexity and its departure from the representational tradition of this story exemplified by narrative focus on the “leave-taking” of the young hunter from the bed of the goddess.  Building upon seminal studies of scholars like Erwin Panofsky and David Rosand, this essay explores the artist’s emphasis on the vain reach of the goddess towards the leave-taking Adonis as a complex figuration imbued with allusions to several related stories within The Metamorphoses that establish the causes of Venus’s failure. What these recollections ultimately address is the topos of the Virgilian tempus fugit, as well as the inherent melancholia of the sublimation of desire into a work of art.

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