Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Contrast in Venuses

I enjoyed the comments when I posted the Goya Maja paintings here. I've drawn from elements of both these Titian portrayals of Venus in my current work in progress.  Which do you prefer, and why?
Venus and Cupid with an Organist
Venus of Urbino


  1. I prefer the cleaner lines of 'Venus or Urbino'. I think it represents a more graceful more goddess-esk femininity. : )

  2. At first glance, I liked Venus with the Organist. A second glance, however, showed Cupid had his hand on Venus's breast, which sent the ick factor soaring--and my preference abruptly changing to Venus of Urbino.

  3. I prefer Venus of Urbino, but what is the girl in the background doing?

  4. Beebs, I think she's rummaging around in a trunk.
    Hope you had a nice Valentine's Day with your boys. : )

  5. I prefer Venus of Urbino. Look at her eyes. She's in control of her life. Look at the way she's lounging. Playful? Seductive? Definitely naughty. But much more alive than the other Venus.

  6. I agree with the 100% vote for Urbino.

    @Amy - yes she has more of a goddess vibe

    @Susannah. Interesting. Don't you think it's because Cupid is her son and wants to nurse? This picture definitely celebrate's Venus's maternal side which isn't how we usually think of her.

    @Beebs. As Amy say, she's seaching a trunk. The figures int he background are servants and represent, I think, a wealthy Renaissance interior scene. Nothing particularly godlike.

    @Judi. Well said. That head-on gaze is sexy and challenging.

  7. I like the Venus of Urbino better. It is very lovely in my eyes.

  8. Thanks for clearing that up, ladies, I was having trouble figuring it out, the lid kind of blends into the background.

    I had a great day with my boys Amy, my granddaughter visited too, great fun.

  9. I was automatically drawn to the Venus of Urbino painting.

    My first impression was of indulgence and subservience. To me the contrast between the luxury and freedom represented in the front of the picture and the control and dominance in the back of the picture were important components showing the contrast between the classes.

    I was actually fascinated in the back portrayal. Is the female being reprimanded, praying or working?

    One of my sons loves art which many find interesting because he is red, green and blue color blind. He taught me that sometimes it's the small things in a picture that can be the most intresting.

    PS: Did anyone else immediately notice the cute puppy on the bed?

  10. @elaine Another vote for Urbino!

    @Jeanne. I like the servants in the background too. Even though they are quite elegant domestics, they provide contrast, as you say.