TIZIANO Vecellio
(b. 1490, Pieve di Cadore, d. 1576, Venezia)

Venus Anadyomene

c. 1520
Oil on canvas, 76 x 57 cm
National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

The word "Anadyomene", which means "one who has surfaced", is a reference to the birth of Venus. According to classical mythology and the poetry of Hesiod (ca. 700 BC), Venus rose fully formed from the ocean in Paphos on Cyprus (or Cythera). This is the moment depicted by Titian. The relatively small painting shows one of his women's figures typical of the 1510s and 1520s. This painting should be seen not as a portrait of an individual but as a depiction of female beauty.