Tiziano: Danae, Venus and Adonis
The Museum of Prado presents the exhibition 'Danae, Venus and Adonis. The first poems by Tiziano to Felipe II ', which shows, for the first time after its restoration, the first two "poems" the Italian artist -'Dánae' from the Wellington Collection, Apsley House, and 'Venus and Adonis' del Prado - he painted for the then prince Philip, who received them in 1553 and 1554, respectively.
With them one can see other versions of Danae, now in the Prado, which was conducted by Tiziano around 1565 and matched to Venus and Adonis in the "vaults of Tiziano" in the Alcázar.
With these two works was inaugurated one of the most important and influential mythological cycles in the history of Western painting, which inspired artists such as Veronese and Rubens. The exhibition pays special attention to the creative process, which is illustrated by various technical documentation.
In the work of Titian it is called "poetry" to the set of mythological works he painted for Philip II between 1553 and 1562. These are: Danae, Perseus and Andromeda, Venus and Adonis, Diana and Adonis, Diana and Callisto and The Rape of Europa . It was probably Philip II himself who commissioned Tiziano a set of mythological paintings, giving him freedom to choose themes and its pictorial translation.
The "poems" are paintings beyond the symbolic or moralizing interpretations. The Italian artist makes his own interpretation of the mythological texts, mostly from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Elisa Mora restorer of Museum of Prado explains that Tiziano has "a very particular, free and cool art tecnnique. He is precursor of impressionism and Velázquez, Goya are fixed in him ..., all subsequent teachers".
Made by Mora with the support of the Iberdrola Foundation, the restoration process involved the cleaning of oxidized varnish and overpaint removal, "it has been a rather laborious and complicated restoration, especially the way they were repainted in previous restorations, since formerly what it was done was to clean the light areas to make them stand out more, and let the dark areas uncleaned, which were accumulating old varnishes, thus the composition was disfavored, the light and color. The challenge has been to return to the painting the idea that the artist wanted to express "says the restorer.
In Danae the hand of Tiziano could not be recognized due to older interventions, not very accurate, that altered their approach and execution. Moreover, the canvas was cut on all four sides and was relined twice. In some areas there were numerous repainting that covered parts of the original painting, and in other abrasions and paint loss was appreciated. The entire surface exhibited a matt appearance and off due to a former wax varnish.
Venus and Adonis was extended altering these added the composition. To recover the meaning of the painting has been hidden strip of cloth added to the molding of the frame. So that its central axis coincides with Adonis leg rests on the floor, dividing the space and action in two looks.