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

Jupiter and Antiope (Pardo Venus)

1535-40, reworked c. 1560
Oil on canvas, 196 x 385 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

In 1574, Titian described this painting in a letter to the secretary of Philip II as being "the naked woman with the landscape and satyr". Its present name, Pardo Venus, derived from the Spanish palace of El Pardo, where the painting was for a long time kept. The reclining naked figure was interpreted as a Venus. In fact, the painting depicts the moment when Jupiter, in the form of a satyr, approached Antiope, a king's daughter, who will give birth to twins.

The representation of the nude woman shows the direct influence of Giorgione's Venus in Dresden. Titian never painted independent landscapes, however, the landscape plays an important role in his paintings when the subject allows it.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 38 minutes):
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony in C Major (Jupiter-Symphony) K 551