The itinerary <em>TITULORECORRIDO</em> has been successfully created. Now you can add in works from the Collection browser
<em>TITULOOBRA</em> added to <em>TITULORECORRIDO</em> itinerary

Collection <Back
The Worship to Venus
Close Continuar a ficha de la obra


Pieve di Cadore, Belluno, Véneto, 1490 - Venecia, 1576

Miniatura autor

The Worship to Venus

1518 - 1519. Oil on canvas, 172 x 175 cm.

Titian´s first contribution to the Camerino d´Alabastro was prompted by the death in October 1587 of Fra Bartolommeo from whom Alfonso d´Este had commissioned a Worship of Venus one year previously and for which Fra Bartolommeo submitted a sketch. In April 1518, Titian received instructions on the subject matter and format of the work along with a drawing, probably that by Fra Bartolommeo. In October 1519 Titian personally brought his painting to Ferrara.

Inspired by Philostratus (Imagines 1, 6), as Ridolfi already noted in 1648, The Worship of Venus was Titian´s first attempt to recreate an Antique painting (The Rape of Europa would be his last), which probably explains his close adherence to the text, following it down to the smallest compositional and even chromatic details: Look at the cupids gathering apples. Don´t be surprised at how many there are. They are the children of the Nymphs and govern all mortals, and there are many of them because there are many things beloved by man [...] Can you smell something of the fragrance of the garden or has it not reached you? [...] Here there are some avenues of trees with enough space to stroll between them, and a soft lawn bordering the paths, laid out like a bed for anyone who wants to take a sleep on it. Hanging from the tips of the branches, golden, red, and yellow apples invite the whole crowd of cupids to collect them. This ekphrasis continues with an explanation of some of the elements, such as the hare, an animal associated with Venus, who has a certain capacity of erotic persuasion and her chase has come to be a drastic method of winning the love of her favourites, or the mirror, which is part of the offering made by the nymphs to Venus for having made them mothers of the cupids.

Titian retained a number of Fra Bartolommeo´s ideas, such as the inclusion of a statue of Venus as well as the nymphs (mentioned by Philostratus in relation to the painting but not in it), but he abandoned the Florentine artist´s notably axial composition, conceived as a pyramid around the statue. Adhering more closely to the text, Titian situated it beneath an arched rock at one side, shifting the focus of attention from the goddess to the cupids and giving the landscape more emphasis, thus coming closer to the mood of celebration of the fertility of nature suggested by Philostratus. Beyond the logical differences between a Florentine painter with a preference for symmetry and a Venetian one less inclined to it, the changes in the work are probably due to the desire to make it appropriate to its specific location, an issue which preoccupied Titian to judge from his letter to Alfonso of April 1518. The reconstruction of the Camerino in the Titian exhibition (London, 2003) proposed that The Worship of Venus hung on its own on the right wall. This is suggested by the composition, which inclines to that side, the vanishing point in the landscape and the reference to figures and objects located to the right of the painting (probably in an over-door), seen through the gazes of the nymphs, one looking directly and the other through the mirror which she holds up. While this second nymph seems to be inspired by Fra Bartolommeo´s drawing, other figures recall classical sculpture, such as the cupids, which Titian used earlier in the Three Ages of Man of 1512-13 and The Triumph of Faith, engraved in 1517 and derived from classical sculptures now in the Museo Archeologico in Venice. The figure of Venus is based on the so-called Venus Celeste, a version of which belonged to the Patriarch of Aquilea, Giovanni Grimani (1500-1593), and was probably in Venice in the early sixteenth century. Titian used it for the form of the drapery and the way the figure holds it with one hand below her waist.

The present painting was engraved in Rome in 1636 by Giovanni Andrea Podesta with a dedication to Cassiano dal Pozzo. Both The Worship of Venus and The Bacchanal of the Andrians were copied numerous times. Notable copies were those made by Padovanino (Bergamo, Accademia Carrara) and Rubens (Stockholm, Nationalmuseum) (Text drawn from Falomir, M.: Tiziano, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2003, pp. 358-359).


Technical data

Related artworks

The Andrians
Oil on canvas, 1523 - 1526
The Worship of Venus
Lithographic aquatint on wove paper, 1832 - 1837
Museo del Prado, sala de la reina Isabel II
Gelatin / Collodion on photographic paper, Ca. 1899
Inventory number
The Worship to Venus
1518 - 1519
High/Height: 172 cm.; Width: 175 cm.
Royal Collection (New Royal Palace, Madrid, “pieza de tocador”, 1794, nº 40; Royal Palace, Madrid, “habitación del infante don Carlos-quinta pieza”, 1814-1818, s.n.).

Bibliography +

Inventario de las Pinturas del Museo Hecho a la Muerte del Rey, Madrid, 1834, pp. 42.

Ricketts, C.S., The Prado and Its Masterpieces, Archibald Constable and Company, Westminster, 1903, pp. 127.

Gronau, Georg, Titian, Duckworth and Co.Charles Scribners, Londres-Nueva York, 1911, pp. 55, 318.

Caro-Delvaille, H., Titien, Felix Alcan, Paris, 1913, pp. lám.12.

Beroqui, Pedro, Tiziano en el Museo del Prado, Boletin de la Sociedad española de excursiones, 35, 1925, pp. 143.

Suida, Wilhelm, Le Titien, Weber, Paris, 1935, pp. lám.53.

Sarfatti, Margarita G.De, Tiziano O de la Fe en la Vida, Editorial Poseidon, Buenos Aires, 1944, pp. 14.

Beroqui, Pedro, Tiziano en el Museo del Prado., Hauser y Menet, Madrid, 1946, pp. 14,15.

Ceán Bermúdez, Juan Agustín, Diccionario histórico de los más ilustres profesores de Bellas Artes en España, Reales Academias de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1965, pp. 40.

Veldt, A.Van De, Jaarverslag 1964. Stichting Werkplaats tot Herstel van Antieke Textiel-Haarlem, Stichting Werkplaats Tot Herstel Va, Haarlem, 1965, pp. 110/ lám.56.

Mezzetti, Amalia, Le storie di Enea del Dosso nel ''camerino d'alabastro'' di Alfonso X d'Este, Paragone, 189, 1965, pp. 71-84.

Panofsky, Erwin, Problems in Titian Mostly Iconographic, Phaidon, Londres, 1969, pp. lám.118.

Pallucchini, Rodolfo, Tiziano. Vol. I, G.C.Sansoni, Florencia, 1969, pp. lám.131.

Cagli, Corrado, La obra pictórica completa de Tiziano, Noguer, Barcelona. Madrid, 1971.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Ponz, Antonio., Viage de España, VI, Madrid, 1972, pp. 42,206.

Wethey, Harold E., The paintings of Titian, Phaidon, Londres, 1975, pp. 146-148.

Pallucchini, Rodolfo, Profilo Di Tiziano, Aldo Martello, Florencia, 1977, pp. lám.13.

Cavalli-Björkman, Görel, Rubens i Sverige, Raben & Sjogren, Stockholm, 1977, pp. 24.

Rizzatti, Maria Luisa, Tiziano, Editorial Marin, Barcelona, 1977, pp. 49.

Rosand, David, Titian, Harrry N.Abrams, Nueva York, 1978, pp. 94 lám.17.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: pintura italiana anterior a 1600, Gredos, Madrid, 1979, pp. 131,136,137.

Longhi, Roberto, Breve Ma Veridica Storia Della Pittura Italiana, Sansoni Editore, Florencia, 1980, pp. 162.

Chiari, Maria Agnese, Incisioni Da Tiziano. Catalogo del Fondo Grafico a Stampa de, Musei Civici Veneziani, Venezia, 1982, pp. 140.

López Torrijos, Rosa, La mitología en la pintura española del siglo XVII, Editorial de la Universidad Complutense, Madrid, 1982, pp. 976.

Rosand, David, Titian. His World and His Legacy, Columbia University Press, Nueva York, 1982, pp. 315/ lám.7.

Ayala Mallory, Nina, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1983, pp. 37/ lám.22.

Emiliani, Andrea, L'Estasi di Santa Cecilia di Raffaello da Urbino Nella Pinac, Edizioni Alfa, Bolonia, 1983, pp. 322/ lám.266.

Perre, Harold Van De, Pietro Paolo Rubens. Prophete de L' Art Moderne, Elsevier Librico, Zaventem, 1984, pp. 28.

Burke, Marcus B., Private Collections of Italian Art in Seventeenth Century Spain, University Microfilm International, Nueva York, 1984, pp. 62.

Hetzer, Theodor, Rubens und Rembrandt, Maander Kunstverlag-Urachhaus, Stuttgart, 1984, pp. lám.32.

Glang-Süberkrüb, Annegret, Einige Anmerkungen zu Tizians und Rubens Sündenfall, 1985.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 699.

Buzzoni, Andrea, Una radice ferrarese delle pittura dei camerini di Alfonso I D'Este, Ricerche di Storia dell Arte, 26, 1985, pp. 100.

Barghahn, Barbara Von, Philip IV and the Golden House of the Buen Retiro in the Tradition of Caesar, Garland PublishingInc., Nueva York.Londres, 1986, pp. 333/ lám.1216.

Cavalli-Björkmann, Görel, Bacchanals by Titian and Rubens. Papers Given at a Symposium, Gorel CavalliBjorkman, Estocolmo, 1987.

Cavalli-Bjorkamn, Görel., Camerino d'alabastro. A Renaissance room in Ferrara, Nationalmuseum Bulletin (Stockolm), 11, 1987, pp. 73,107.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso., ''La Bacanal y la ofrenda a la diosa de los Amores'' en Rubens copista de Tiaziano, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1987, pp. 28.

Fernández Miranda y Lozana, Fernando, Inventarios Reales. Carlos III. 1789-1790. Vol. I, Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 1988, pp. 35.

Wilde, Johannes, La pintura veneciana: de Bellini a Ticiano, Nerea, Madrid, 1988, pp. 160/ lám.119.

Brown, Jonathan1939-, La Edad de Oro de la pintura en España, Nerea, Madrid, 1990, pp. 207/ lám.194.

Spiess, D., Le Peintre et L' Enfant, Conti, Lausanne, 1990, pp. 55.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. n.852.

Walther, Angelo, Tizian, E.A.Seemann Verlag, Leipzig, 1990, pp. lám.21.

Pilo, Giuseppe Maria, Rubens e L'Eredita Veneta, De Luca Edizioni D'Arte, Roma, 1991, pp. 92/ lám.72.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de los cuadros del Museo del Prado de Madrid, [s.n.], Paris, 1993, pp. 552/ lám.3.

Checa Cremades, Fernando, Tiziano y la monarquía hispánica: usos y funciones de la pintura veneciana en España (siglos XVI y XVII), Nerea, Madrid, 1994, pp. 111; 261, n. 29.

Bettagno, Alessandro, El Museo del Prado, Fonds Mercator Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1996, pp. 259.

Cuadrillero, Jaime., El poder universal de Cupido. Otto Vaenins y Jan van Kessel, emblemistas amorosos., Anales del instituto de investigaciones estéticas, 1996, pp. 33/ lám.10.

López Torrijos, Rosa, Mitologia e Historia en las Obras Maestras del Prado, Scala Books, Londres, 1998, pp. 33.

Brown, Jonathan, Painting in Spain 1500-1700, Yale University Press, Yale, 1998, pp. 175/ lám.227.

Goldfarb, Hilliard T., Titian and Rubens: power, politics and style, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, 1998.

Goldfarb, Hilliard T., Titian and Rubens: power, politics and style, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, 1998.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Pintura italiana del Renacimiento: guía, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1999, pp. 202.

Cole, Bruce, Titian and Venetian Painting 1450-1590, Westview Press, Colorado, Oxford, 1999, pp. 94.

Valcanover, Francesco, Tiziano. I suoi pennelli sempre partorirono espressioni di Vita, Edizioni Il Fiorino, Firenze, 1999, pp. 67.

Simposium Internacional, Tiziano. Técnicas y Restauraciones, Madrid, 1999, pp. 62.

Bentini, Jadranka, Il Museo Senza Confini : Dipinti Ferraresi del Rinascimento..., Federico Motta Editore, Milán, 2002, pp. 53.

García Gual, C., 'Relato mítico y momento pictórico. Rubens y Ovidio'. En Historias inmortales, Barcelona, 2003, pp. 281-298.

Falomir Faus, Miguel, Tiziano, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2003, pp. 162.

Brown, David Alan, Bellini, Giorgione, Titian and the Renaissance of Venetian, National Gallery of Art ; Vienna, Washington, 2006.

Lawson, Susan, Rubens, Haucer Press, Londres, 2006, pp. 158.

Grünberg, Uta, Potestas Amoris: erotisch-mythologische Dekorationen um 1600, Imhof, 2009, pp. 135-138.

Rubens im Wettstreit mit Alten Meistern. Vorbild und Neuerf, Hatje Cantz, 2009, pp. 237-249.

Rubens im Wettstreit mit Alten Meistern. Vorbild und Neuerf, Hatje Cantz, 2009, pp. 242-249.

Morel, P., Dionysisme, témperance et épicureisme dans le camerino d´Alfonso d´Este, Studiolo, nº 8, 2010, pp. 57-73.

Rubens & Van Dyck, Nationalmuseum, 2010, pp. 28-38,114-115,118-119.

Colantuono, Anthony, Titian, Colonna and the Renaissance science of procreation :..., Ashgate, 2010, pp. 29-178.

Colantuono, Anthony, Titian, Colonna and the Renaissance science of procreation :..., Ashgate, 2010, pp. 53.

Heinen, Ulrich, Das antike und das christliche opfer zu Elsheimer contento und Rubens´sieg der Eucharistie über das heinische opfer, Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, LXXII, 2011, pp. 257 [251-280].

Maîtres vénitiens et flamands : Bellini, Titien, Canaletto,..., Silvana: Bozar books, 2011, pp. 164-167.

Nude and the norm in the early modern low countries, Brepols, 2011, pp. 159-180.

Zimmerman, K, Al fin resolve e trata de I bacanali far quel Ré contento... The viceroy Monterrey, the Ludovisi and the Princedom of Piombino. En:, L 'Arte del Dono. Scambi artistici e diplomazia tra Italia e Spagna, 1550-1650. Studi della Biblioteca Hertziana 8. Jornata di studi 14-15 enero 2008, Milan, 2013, pp. 239-251 f.3 L.20.

Splendore a Venezia : Art et Musique de la Renaissance au Barroque dans la Sérenissime, Éd.Hazan - Musée des Beaux-Arts, Montreal, 2013, pp. 134, f.2.

Hoffman-Samland, Jens, 'Anónimo español o italiano. Amorcillo' En:, Dibujos españoles en la Kunsthalle de Hamburgo, Museo Nacional del Prado Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist Univ. Hamburger Kunsthalle, Madrid, 2014, pp. 269 nt.1.

Cobo, G., ''Niños. Naturaleza y juegos'' En:, Mena Marques,Manuela B. Goya en Madrid : cartones para tapices 1775-1794, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2014, pp. 204-211 [204, 311 f.5.7].

Partridge, Loren, Art of Renaissance Venice 1400-1600, University of California Press, 2015, pp. 210-212 f.183.

Portús, Javier, Displaying the Nude is Spain 1550-1834. The Sala Reservada' En:, Splendor, Myth, and Vision : Nudes from the Prado, Clark Art Institute ; Museo Nacional del Prado,, 2016, pp. 50-66 [58].

Other inventories +

Inv. Felipe V, Buen Retiro, 1747. Núm. 40.
PINTURAS ENTREGADAS en dichas Casas Arzobispales a don Santiago de Bonavia [...] {11287} 40 / Otro [lienzo] de dos varas en quadro vn juego de niños original del Ticiano en nueve mil reales

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1794. Núm. 40.
Pieza de Tocador / {312} 33 y 40 / Dos [quadros] de dos varas y quarta de largo, y dos de alto: El primero un Bacanal, y el otro multitud de niños en varias aptitudes ô la Fecundidad sobre un Pedestal, á quarenta mil reales cada uno. Ticiano ... 80.000

Inv. Fernando VII, Palacio Nuevo, 1814-1818. Núm. s. n..
Habitacion del Señor Infante Don Carlos [...] Quinta pieza [...] {21846-21847} dos de dos varas y quarta en quadro = Vn bacanal en que hay varias figuras bebiendo con vna figura desnuda en primer termino = y el segundo juguetes de muchisimos niños con otras dos figuras = Ticiano

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 852.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 852.
Tiziano. / 852. Ofrenda a la fecundidad. / a la derecha del espectador se ve el simulacro de la diosa en una hermosa estatua de marmol, a cuyo pie estan dos bellas jovenes haciendole sus ofrendas. El fondo es un vergel cubierto todo de niños en varias actitudes, distribuidos en muchos grupos, y ocupados en juegos, en bailes, en coger frutas y tirarselas unos a otros, en llenar cestos de ellas, etc, etc, (C.L.) / Alto 6 pies, 2 pulg; ancho 6 pies, 3 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 451.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 419.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 419.

Exhibitions +

Goya en Madrid. Cartones para tapices (1775-1794)
28.11.2014 - 03.05.2015

Goya in Madrid
28.11.2014 - 03.05.2015

Bellini, Giorgione, Titian and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting
16.10.2006 - 07.01.2007

10.06.2003 - 07.09.2003

19.02.2003 - 18.05.2003

Bacanales por Tiziano y Rubens
17.03.1987 - 17.05.1987

Location +

Room 042 (On Display)

Update date: 14-10-2016 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

Other works by Titian

Print on demand

Print artworks available in our catalogue in high quality and your preferred size and finish.

Image archive

Request artworks available in our catalogue in digital format.