Love and nature, Titian and the passage of time – Culture & Shows

(ANSA) – ROME, JUNE 13 – facing from behind, the dull gaze that almost seems to want to meet the observer’s, the very young Titian’s nymph fills the room and fascinates with the diaphanous skin and her lavish shapes. naked body. The story alludes to a love scene, next to her the young shepherd looks at her and concentrates his hands on a slender whistle. But even more than the love and passion that could at times erupt between the two, it is the time of life with its inevitable cycle of seasons that seems to be the master of this scene. With death always a step away, ready to bite the flesh like the goat in the background to tear the last still green branch from an gradually dry tree. And all around a dark and ghostly nature, a chase of dark tones that seems to blur even her dreamy eyes with sorrow.

The small close exhibition, which opens from 14 June to 18 September at Galleri Borghese in Rome. With four large canvases placed in dialogue with each other in the space where the paintings of the Venetian school and of Titian in the collection of the Roman museum were already exhibited. “For us an exhibition dossier”, explains curator Maria Giovanna Sarti, “a small review that allowed us to put the works in dialogue around some themes that are always present in the painter’s production, almost a common thread that follows him from the beginning to the extremes of maturity “. An exhibition, he says, which was also an opportunity to start new diagnostic studies and critical studies that will be published soon.

On the first floor of the Baroque residence, which once belonged to Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the focus of the reflection therefore starts from four large canvases: next to “The Nymph and the Shepherd”, who has just arrived from Vienna, “almost a thematic and stylistic testament” of the great Titian who died alone in the nineties. A year after completing it, two other huge canvases stand out as a counterweight. On the one hand there is “Sacred Love and Profane Love”, a serious allegory of marital love with the two Venuses, one naked, the other chaste dressed, and on the other hand a “Venus that binds love before the eyes”, to which is added, on the wall just in front of the Nymph, a seventeenth-century copy of “The three ages of man”, another masterpiece by Vecellio, the original of which is preserved in Edinburgh.

The themes are the same everywhere, the curator points out, love in its various forms and nature understood as a significant landscape and place of human action, both closely linked to the passage of time, to the relentless cycle of life. However, the colors and atmospheres change, the way they are understood and represented, perhaps also due to the great tasks of the great painter and his rich workshop. And if in the clear majesty of “Sacred Love and Profane Love” it almost seems to find the echo of the very sad and cruel story of the wedding which he was to magnify (those between Niccolò Aurelio and Laura Baragotto, arrived after he had some attended in the death sentence of her father and her husband), and a window opens towards Venice in 500, in the late and complex allegory “Venus that binds for love”, the idea of ​​marital feeling is confirmed as the right balance between passion and its containment trusted to a blond, jeweled and beautiful Venus queen who resolutely blindfolds a cupid. While on the wall just opposite the wall of the nymph and the shepherd, “The Three Ages of Man” – which Sassoferrato copied in the seventeenth century from an original by Titian – serves as a perfect counterpart offering the same reflection, made in another moment of life. , about love and time that goes and consumes everything. Ideas, diversity, references. A reflection in which other works from the museum’s collection also participate, including Adam and Eve by Marco Basaiti, two other Titians, Christ scourged and San Domenico, as well as a painting believed to be a late derivation from a lost Titian model (Venus, Cupid and a satyr). And that in nature so far from the “Nymph of the Nymph and the Shepherd” it becomes a melancholy thought about the pressing time and the futility of life.

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