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PhotoHunt: Mirror

In the Galleria Franchetti in Venice, there's a painting by Titian called "Venus with a Mirror."

What's wrong with this picture? Well, despite the title, there's no mirror in it because someone cut off the right side of the painting (where the mirror used to be). Why? No clue. Maybe because the painting was too big for their frame? Hard to imagine cutting up a Titian!

Venus with a Mirror

This was a popular subject that Titian painted more than once. There's another "Venus with a Mirror" in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The mirror survives in this painting (a cute cherub is holding it for her).

Venus with a Mirror

Titian did this painting in 1555, five years after the Venice version. When he died, his son inherited the painting but then sold it along with all the other contents of his father's house to Venetian nobleman, Cristoforo Barbarigo. In 1850, the Barbarigo family sold the painting to Czar Nicholas I of Russia, and the painting was in the Hermitage until 1931 when it was purchased by Andrew Mellon who later gave it to the National Gallery in DC. A long strange trip!

The Galleria Franchetti is in Ca' d'Oro, one of the most beautiful buildings in Venice.

Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

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Comments (11)

Wow! I cannot imagine cutting out the mirror just to fit a frame, but I've heard of stranger. Great choice for the theme, and thank you for the write-up, so interesting :)

My photo hunt entry for this week

It's hard to imagine someone cutting a painting! for whatever reason... Beautiful second painting, and such an interesting story.

People have a weird sense of artistic beauty sometimes. I'm glad there's one surviving painting that shows how it really should.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, it's too bad that the first painting was cut. I'm so glad that wasn't the case in the second. Two very gorgeous paintings. It is so interesting how many hands paintings travel through. I'm just so happy that these are in galleries where the public and view them. I have a confession, I didn't know what a cherub was. Looked it up and it was so interesting. I learn something new from you Annie.

Wonderful post! Have an awesome long Holiday weekend!

Hard to imagine anyone cutting up the painting. Great take on the theme. Happy long weekend!

Even though the mirror is not there, its presence it's still inferred by her stare. And that makes the painting even more powerful.
Great choice Annie!!


Thanks for sharing the story about the Titian! BTW, is it just me who thinks that Venus' right arm looks like it belongs to someone else (being quite a bit more...mannish than I'd expect of a goddess)? ;b

Strange that anyone would want to cut up a beautiful piece of art.

nice interpretation of the theme !


Great photos and bit of history! Interesting to read.

Another spot in Venice I have not been to. Perhaps I will make it there in a few weeks.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 23, 2014 1:27 PM.

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