Curated by: Claudia Cieri Via e Maria Giovanna Sarti
A famous painting already in the seventeenth century, object of study by painters such as Antoon Van Dyck, but also by art historians and scholars who have variously interpreted the subject: Venus blindfolding Love by Titian (1560-65) is one of the last paintings by the Venetian master, part of the Borghese Gallery collection, from 22 June to 5 September 2021 on loan to Palazzo Te as part of the Venus Divine exhibition program. Harmony on earth.
"Thanks to the generosity of the Borghese Gallery - comments the Director of the Palazzo Te Foundation Stefano Baia Curioni - this precious painting is shown in Mantua and Palazzo Te: another new, intense wish for a restart for the city, another opportunity to find ourselves together in the museum."
The episode depicted is a special moment: Venus is blindfolding a cupid while she is being distracted by another winged boy who leans on her shoulder with a thoughtful gaze, perhaps worried about the people who will be pierced by the arrows shot by blind Love. This work by Titian still suggests today, after five centuries, the controversial complexity of love and beauty from which it is generated.
The painting is dated between 1560 and 1565, the extreme years of the artist. The crumbling and dreamy image is built with great skill: in the center of the picture there is none of the protagonists of the scene, but an opening towards a landscape at sunset. In a sophisticated chromatic accord, pink and blue are found on the small wings of the blindfolded Cupid and in the blue of the drapery of Venus, opposite to the crimson red of the handmaid with arrows. The whites of the clothes and the complexions are crossed by light, and the delicate transitions to the colored shadows help to make the contours of the figures less defined, entrusted to the eye of the viewer and his ability to grasp them.