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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 09:29 GMT
Titian show delights the senses
By Philip Gordos
BBC News

Titian's The Worship of Venus (1518-20)
Titian was one of the giants of Renaissance art
The biggest exhibition of renaissance artist Titian to be shown in the UK is beginning at the National Gallery in London on Wednesday.

If you are a bit of a sweet tooth, imagine finding yourself in Rome's most famous cake shop.

If savoury is your game, then how about a top delicatessen in the heart of Paris.

Stepping into the National Gallery and being confronted by dozens and dozens of Titian's paintings gets you salivating in much the same way.

Instead of the most tongue-tingling tiramisu, there is The Flaying of Marsyas.

Rather than a mouth-watering slice of camembert, you find The Worship of Venus.

You can gorge yourself for hours on one or all of the Italian's many masterpieces knowing this is a strictly a calorie-free diet.

The beauty of Titian (about 1487-1576) is that he constantly reinvented himself throughout his life without ever losing his touch.

That makes for a wonderful array of images, set in an environment which only enhances your experience.

You can get up close and personal in the National Gallery.

Alternatively, stand in the middle of any one of the six rooms dedicated to the exhibition and take in as much as you can.

Either way, you really do sense you are in the presence of some of the world's greatest paintings.

Mythology, religion, landscape and portraiture all feature strongly in Titian's work.

And there are naturally many common threads running through all of them. But it is the faces of his subjects which constantly grab the attention.

They are so well crafted that they bring each and every picture to life.

Complementing what is the first of three Renaissance exhibitions to be held at the National Gallery is a "groundbreaking art-historical interactive".

If getting a glimpse of The Three Ages of Man or The Virgin and Child is not enough, you can explore the Venice of Titian's day through "a mixture of audio narration, photography, video, contemporary images, maps and music".

There is also a themed programme of free events every Thursday night during the exhibition, entitled Titian After Dark.




SEE ALSO:
Gallery unveils Titian show
19 Feb 03  |  Entertainment
National Gallery's 21m 'facelift'
05 Nov 02  |  Entertainment


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