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Titian’s “Venus of Urbino”

“Venus of Urbino” refers to an oil painting done by an Italian master known as Titian. It portrays a nude young female, recognized with Venus, the goddess lying down on a couch in the luxurious surrounding of the palace of Renaissance. The painting is found in Florence and the pose of the picture is based on the sleeping Venus of Giorgione’s solitude. The painting is plainly erotic in nature.

Gender identity and sexuality are tied to society therefore the painting needs a clear understanding of time and room. Psychological, political, as well as economic, helped Titan in the interpretation of women.

The gesture of Venus can be termed as an action and not an inert cover up though Titian shows the fingers curled and not extended (Goffen 66). It can also be seen as a confirmation of the immodesty of the woman showing lasciviousness and therefore opposing the conventional meaning of the pudica pose. In a real sense, it does. Nevertheless, there is another way of viewing the actions, a way that is consistent with the mentality of the time the painting was done.

In most cases, this form of self-caress was unmistakably condemned through medieval and resurgent theologians as well as physicians. However, they allowed it in a particular situation that was based on the mistaken notion; when a man withdrew from the woman before she experienced her own emission. Therefore to accomplish this, masturbation of women was unavoidable.

Titian took both the display as well as the gesture from Giorgione’s Venus. For the goddess to be able to take a look at the beloved directly, the tension brought about by the sexual demand portrayed in her look restores the vanity of Venus. The painting adds assertiveness to independence; highly conscious, mindful, and full of self-awareness. Venus of Urbino is an illustration of the sexuality of the female, very powerful and getting appropriate realization in marriage context (Goffen 67).

A glance of a beautiful lady is a traditional weapon that she fully enraptures and injures her lover. The glance of Titan’s Venus is unquestionably erotic. Whether it is also wanton highly relies on the object of interest. The admirer may not be in a position to see.

Fruitfulness and not sterile promiscuity provide reasons as to why Titan made his only household center for the Venus of Urbino. The wall that hangs as well as the column of the loggia, the pavement consisting of square pattern gives components to assert the measurability of the space, persuading of the perspectival delusion. Titan seems to insist on the verisimilitude of the setting; nevertheless, Titian does not bring about the spatial unity but a difference in the foreground and the background.

Through her actions and behavior, Venus depicts not just a single moment but the whole part of her relationship with the beloved. It can be understood as a metaphor, that is, the image of a female as a wife, going beyond time so as to express the eternal realities, in this instance, the verities of the sexual roles the way it is believed by the people of Renaissance. In a real sense, generative sex, although given pleasure of the place, acquire a secondary obligation to the personality of Venus that comprises but is not considerate of her sexuality. The eyes of Venus charismatically hold our own and fully declare her character, the capacity to make a choice, and the understanding. The lexicon and the posture of the sexuality of the female by Titian can be considered as whorish.

It is beyond doubt that the arrangement of the Venus of Urbino highly relies on the placement of the sites. The outlook which designs the pavement and consequently unifies the canvas theoretically enables the elucidation of the code of peace and unity that encourages the disposition.

The viewpoint of Titian places the horizontal point of the composition at the height of the servant kneeling before the chest. The main vanishing point is above the concealed sex of Venus. The arrangement can be clarified as follows; the line which is horizontal depicts the bond that exists internally. It is latent but irrefutable. The person viewing easily finds himself closer to Venus, theoretically, as if stooping her. The kneeling posture is indicated by placing a bed against the floor so that it seems to go on with the plan of ornamental tilting by way of locating the glance of the beholder at the level of the left eye of the nude. By taking apart the composition that brings about the composition, it reveals the evidence which is hidden in the painting.

The marriage of a woman in medieval would be marked by the attainment of a wardrobe, an indication of her change of status, that is, from maiden to matron. The financial settlement earmarked funds for the important occasion. The context of the bride brings about one of the high distinctiveness of Venus of Urbino; there are two servants who replace a gown in a cassone. The twin cassoni may reasonably signify the furniture corresponding to myrtle and posy of roses that remain familiar attributes of the bride since time immemorial (Goffen 88).

The heroine of Titian does not possess the classical propriety; the inactive demeanor which is expected from an ancient goddess. Titian’s Venus is always alert and very strong, highly dominating than being dominated by her male beholder that is not seen. The fact that mythological beings comply with the common law does not lead to deprivation of the classical identities. Florentine Venus turns the eyes towards the beholder and this is the changing nature of Titian’s Venus. However, the object of the desire of the goddess is right before her and not within the picture.

It is highly essential to give a little bit of consideration to the various works of the artists. Titians’ piece of art has to be acknowledged rather than simply terming it obscene. In most cases, the texts written about such paintings avoid appreciating the overt sexuality of such kinds of painting. Most of the paintings were done several centuries ago and had great meaning during the time. A critical analysis of time and space can enable us to appreciate the different forms of art. It may be hard to be sure of the exact intention of the painter. Titian may have had the intention of drawing an erotic picture. However, might have also wanted to make the colors right and lusciously. The sexual elements can not be refuted but the other factors which have concealed meaning to the naked eyes might have played a greater role in influencing the painting. This needs to be realized by everyone in the community. Art represents a society’s mirror.


Goffen Rona. Sex, Space, and the History of Titian’s Venus of Urbino. Cambridge, Eng., and New York, 1997.


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