Displaying the Renaissance Nude MSc Abstract

NGL 059.46


In the last ten years, never has so much public activity been centered around representations of the erotic nude by Titian; igniting a need to reevaluate what erotic artworks mean to the public and how much that meaning is informed by the ways art galleries frame the Renaissance female nude. In 2003 and 2009, the National Gallery of Scotland acquired Titian’s Venus Anadyomene and Diana and Actaeon. In 2011, the Titian 2012 Olympic campaign was launched to promote the universal purpose of these paintings, involving a reinterpretation of the artworks by artists working in different media. Yet the methods used to discuss Titian’s representations of the erotic nude in the gallery, and in non-academic publications, do not address the sexual connotations of these artworks. Therefore, gallery interpretations are in complete contrast to the current scholarship about the original meaning of Titian’s female nudes. Through the use of interviews, primary sources and contemporary literature, this dissertation will aim to investigate the different pressures and systems that influence the ways Titian’s representations of the erotic nude are framed in the public gallery while specifically locating the acquisition of Titian’s Venus Anadyomene in this discourse.

Originally submitted as part of my dissertation to the University of Edinburgh  in 2011.

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