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


Oil on canvas, 80 x 64 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

This is one of Titian's most beautiful works, which, in the warm and impassioned intensity of the colour, sums up the youthful period of Titian. The beautiful woman carrying flowers is thought to be Flora, the classical goddess of flowers and spring. The title of Flora goes back to an engraving which was made from the picture in the 17th century by Sandrart. This painting is one of the first of a series of portraits of ideal female beauty that Titian painted. The sheen of her reddish golden hair, the soft hue of her skin, and the just visible breast whose bareness is skillfully emphasized by her hand and the pink brocade, display Titian's abilities as a subtle colourist and his sure feeling for sensuality.

In the 17th century, the Flora came to the Netherlands and inspired Rembrandt to paint his wife Saskia in the same guise, albeit less scantily clad.

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