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Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen on Titian’s Poesie for Philip II

Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen on Titian’s Poesie for Philip II

Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen on Titian’s Poesie for Philip II

FEW FACES TO MEET the general public highlight lately have extra to inform in regards to the psychological mechanisms of male disgrace, impunity, and self-absolution than that of the furry brown-and-white-spotted Spanish pointer staring out of Titian’s Diana and Callisto, 1556–59. This canine has been a nasty canine, as he appears to know. (I say “he” since, in response to the visible logic of gender organizing the suite of images of which Diana and Callisto kinds one-sixth, Titian’s “huge canine” merely can’t be a bitch.)1 Someday beforehand, on a searching journey that took an sudden twist, this Spanish pointer turned in opposition to and devoured his grasp, Actaeon, a human hunter whom Diana, goddess of chastity, reworked right into a stag after he came across her bathing bare. Diana and Callisto asks its viewer to ponder the aftermath of that assault; his grasp having handed via his digestive system, Actaeon’s canine, portrayed in one other of the sequence’ footage, reappears as a tagalong—or the captive?—of Diana’s band of proto-feminist separatists. Titian provides us the gaze of this pointer for the time being Diana is exiling Callisto, a favourite nymph who broke—unwillingly—her vow of virginity. (She was assaulted and impregnated in secret by Diana’s father, Jupiter, who disguised himself as his daughter to perpetrate the rape.) A vector of disdain slashes diagonally throughout the canvas, main from Diana’s outstretched finger towards Callisto’s swollen stomach, unveiled to the goddess by Callisto’s fellow nymphs, who maintain her down and forcibly strip her. Actaeon’s canine turns his snout ninety levels away from this merciless scene, hangs his head barely, and appears out frontally to handle the viewer. His gaze overflows with oscillating have an effect on—docile and aggressive, imploring and uncomprehending, harmless and guilt-ridden. Does he perceive what he’s performed? Does he know what’s taking place behind him?2

“Magnificence, drama and canine.” These, in response to the Titian specialist Maria Loh, have been the artist’s “favorite themes.”3 Simply how far Titian was able to pushing them grew to become evident over the previous two years within the historic reunion of the so-called poesie (painted poems), six square-format canvases adapting classical myths informed in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. (They’re, sequentially, Danaë, 1551–53, Venus and Adonis, 1553–54, Diana and Actaeon, 1556–59, Diana and Callisto, 1556–59, Perseus and Andromeda, ca. 1554–56, and The Rape of Europa, 1559–62.) With a selected deal with myths narrating the subject-shattering and empire-founding penalties of sexual predator–prey relationships, these gutturally emotive footage, anchored by a sequence of plushly painted feminine nudes, are an train in erotic portray reworked right into a philosophical meditation. They current dynamics of energy at play between sexes, between species, between mortals and divinities, and between geographies; they isolate moments when energy—significantly within the crude type of bodily power—meets obedience or resistance and interacts with instinctive drives, freedom of will, and destiny. Technical experimentation adopted from this ambitiousness of subject material. Titian pushed himself towards ever extra expressionistic limits of his oil-on-canvas medium in these footage. Within the photo voltaic plexus one feels their coloured surfaces—alternately opalescent and light-sucking like velvet, smoldering with the tints and textures of pinky silks and rotting underbrush, glistening scales, puckering flesh, and furs.

View of “Titian: Women, Myth & Power,” 2021–22, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston. From left: Diana and Actaeon, 1556–59; Diana and Callisto, 1556–59; Perseus and Andromeda, ca. 1554–56; The Rape of Europa, 1559–62. Photo: Julia Featheringill.

Painted in Venice between 1551 and 1562, on the top of Titian’s profession, the poesie have been made on the fee of the artist’s strongest patron, Philip of Habsburg. Halfway via the sequence’ completion, Philip ascended his throne as king of Spain. For the remainder of the century, he would rule over the world’s first actually hemispheric empire, a website starting from the south, west, and east of Europe and the Atlantic coast of Africa to Chile, New Mexico, Goa, and the Philippines, which bear his identify. To this potentate, whom Titian addressed as “Very excessive and highly effective Lord” or “Most Invincible Catholic King,” the artist pledged, “I shall commit all that’s left of my life to doing reverence to Your Majesty with . . . portray.”4 Within the majesty of their execution, the poesie actually do Philip honor; of their iconography, additionally they acknowledge and internalize his formidable place of energy by taking part within the pictorial custom recognized euphemistically because the “Loves of Jupiter.” They’re organized as a sequence of three pendant pairs that develop and harmonize round a single leitmotif: a girl who’s being, has been, or will likely be sexually violated by the king of Olympus—the god Ovid known as the omnipotens pater. In different phrases, from among the many roughly 250 tales within the Metamorphoses (fifty of which contain rapes or rape makes an attempt), Titian’s cycle retains returning to cases when Philip’s mythological counterpart is the agent appearing upon his assumed proper to intercourse. But even because the poesie name up a practice of mythological propaganda for the omnipotence of rulers, Titian took (and was given) excessive inventive freedom in executing, deciphering, and pairing the myths he pictured. As an ensemble, the poesie are certainly among the many most ideologically equivocal of the numerous picture cycles impressed by sixteenth-century Europe’s sexualized idea of sovereign energy, the place classical rape myths served to encapsulate princely entitlement tout court docket, as a freedom to grab and declare dominion by power.5

The poesie have been designed to be proven collectively; they converse to and straight develop each other. Certainly, in three of the six, the identical determine—the abovementioned Spanish pointer—reappears as if in sequential frames of a comic book strip. However the six, which started to disperse from the Spanish royal assortment within the late 1500s, haven’t been in the identical location for 4 and a half centuries.6 A touring exhibition collectively organized by a number of museums that maintain particular person poesia—the Nationwide Gallery in London, the Prado in Madrid, the Nationwide Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston—reunited them for the previous two years. The present, assembled collectively after yearslong authorized negotiation and the lifting of mortgage bans at previously nonlending establishments, was justifiably touted as a “as soon as in a half-millennium alternative.” However its timing was each ill-starred and awkward. It opened at its first venue, in London, on March 16, 2020—simply in time to be shuttered by Covid. Extra considerably, the exhibitions delivered Titian’s cycle right into a Euro-American world that for the previous 5 years has been formed by a viral motion devoted to considering and condemning sexual violence in opposition to ladies. The customary veneration lavished on works comparable to these—central-casting “masterpieces” illustrating a canonical “nice guide” of Western literature—was thus tempered by an obvious revelation: The enterprise of accumulating and exhibiting, to not point out portray, a set of six footage representing two rapes-in-progress and one slut-shaming of a pregnant rape sufferer may maybe be morally suspect. “The entire cycle . . . invitations #MeToo analysis,” Holland Cotter cautioned within the New York Occasions beneath the headline “Can We Ever Have a look at Titian’s Work the Similar Manner Once more?” In Hyperallergic, one other (male) reviewer closed with the road, “Precisely as Harvey would have wished.”

I noticed the present at its ultimate venue, the Gardner, the place The Rape of Europa, the work Titian described to Philip because the “seal” (sogello) of the poesie cycle—his inventive signature and thematic summation—has been housed since 1896.7 There, the curator of this iteration of the exhibition, Nathaniel Silver, departed from the Nationwide Gallery’s and the Prado’s extra anodyne, old school curatorial framings, respectively titled “Love, Demise, Want” and “Mythological Passions.” In a presentation retitled “Girls, Fable & Energy,” the Gardner acknowledged that in exhibiting the poesie the museum probably positioned itself in league with the interlinking topic positions of Jupiter, Philip, and Titian, slightly than the forged of individuals acted upon by energy in Titian’s compositions, whose struggling our bodies supply uncooked materials for delectating in each technical virtuosity and prurient remark. On its web site, the museum posed the query “Why would the Gardner current exhibitions centered round Titian’s Rape of Europa and its story of sexual violence?” after which tried a solution, which included the hotline of the Boston Space Rape Disaster Heart.8 (The barcc additionally suggested the museum on content material warnings for the exhibition.) Whereas the written ethical justification the museum supplied in favor of presenting the poesie felt too pat by far, Silver’s presentation did efficiently puncture, even when imaginatively and counterfactually, the closed circuit of European males who’ve traditionally produced and consumed Titian’s erotic footage. This decentering of the entitled male gaze was made vivid via a portrait of Mary Tudor, queen of England and the second of Philip’s 4 wives, hanging alongside Titian’s portrait of Philip, as if she too have been overseeing the gallery of poesie. Audio responses to particular person poesia recorded by students, artists, organizers, and gender educators harassed the views of viewers (each historic and up to date) who weren’t male, not European, and/or not cisgender. These responses articulated, for example, how the thirty-seven-year-old queen of England, a lot ridiculed by Philip’s courtiers for her superior age and thin physique, may need reacted to the ample buttocks of the Venus Titian painted for her husband; or, on the opposite finish of the spectrum of energy, how an expertise lived by hundreds of thousands of girls within the age of the transatlantic slave commerce could be echoed within the determine of Europa, subjected to forcible seize, transoceanic migration, and childbirth from rape.9 Lastly, in a flourish that gave a extra spectacular face to the essential posture of the exhibition, the Gardner enlisted up to date artists to “discuss again” to Titian, leading to two new commissions: a textual content banner by Barbara Kruger on the facade of the museum studying physique/lang/uage, and a loquacious video by Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley that includes a pregnant, pissed-off Europa, semi-clad in up to date workplace clothes, talking in obscene limericks. 

The poesie have been designed to be proven collectively; they converse to and straight develop each other.

A fantastic power of the exhibition was that these interventions—directly courageous and delicate, defensive and didactic—have been visually unobtrusive to the marquee works. Finally, the exhibition boiled all the way down to a small, sparsely put in single gallery with the freshly cleaned poesie hung in pendant pairs throughout three partitions, arrayed clockwise within the order of their completion in similar new frames. The directness of this presentation preserved the potential for confronting layers of complexity and inside contradiction solely accessible via shut trying. The essential language mediating the general public’s encounter with these prize possessions of Europe’s emperors and kings virtually threatened to obscure, or to filter via a extra simplistic scrim, modes of emotion and questioning—in addition to excusing—round power, coercion, and conquistador masculinity already embedded within the poesie. However to enter into, not to mention critique, the inner logic of Titian’s ambiguous, deeply equivocal cycle of images, one should attend to their starring and subsidiary animal figures, who have been for probably the most half sidelined by the framing discourse.

Titian, Danaë, 1551–53, oil on canvas, 73 5⁄8 × 80 1⁄2".

THE FIRST TWO CANVASES Titian despatched to Philip—Danaë and then Venus and Adonis—reprise templates of preexisting compositions. They’re the least progressive and attention-grabbing of the suite, each when it comes to paint dealing with and eventualities envisioned. As a pair—that includes complementary back and front views of the feminine nude, as Titian harassed to Philip—they arrange gendered tropes and scripts that will likely be difficult or upended within the subsequent poesie, which introduce looser painterly execution (Titian’s signature pittura di macchia, or “portray by blotch”), tougher compositions apparently unsuitable for countless workshop replication, and extra open ambivalence in regards to the dynamics concerned in claiming sexual or territorial possessions.

Danaë, the sequence’ opening salvo, is by far probably the most serene and beatific of the poesie; it’s also, paradoxically, the one poesia to depict penetration with out consent in medias res, i.e., rape in its present US authorized definition.10 Proven within the second of coitus that Diana and Callisto remembers and The Rape of Europa anticipates, Jupiter seems within the act of deflowering and impregnating a feminine virgin, who, on this case, is a prisoner, taken unexpectedly and with out session. The parable Titian illustrates tells of a woman locked in a chastity cage by her father, King Acrisius, who has heard a prophecy that his daughter’s firstborn son will homicide him. Jupiter invades Danaë’s jail cell by streaming a golden bathe via a gap in its ceiling, aiming himself proper into her reproductive organs to impregnate her with the hero Perseus. Titian renders this second of coercive conception with a recumbent and bare Danaë in a pose that remembers the Venus of Urbino, however with folded ankles changed by raised knees, in order that Danaë’s proper thigh obscures her left hand, which could be imagined as both shielding her intercourse or drawing again a chunk of gauze to make method for divine insemination. The distinguished white of Danaë’s eye frames her upturned pupil, educated with a tender but fastened gaze on the mist of droplets raining down on her midsection like manna from heaven. (In a number of variants Titian’s workshop produced of this well-liked composition, precise gold cash bathe down on the lady.) The image fairly straightforwardly realizes the fantasy of the prepared lady, formulated most succinctly in a line from Ovid’s Artwork of Love: “Gratus raptae raptor fuit” (the rapist was pleasing to the raped lady). An ecstatic collapse of the Madonna-whore dichotomy takes place on this picture; Danaë is directly a Virgin Mary, assenting to God’s will within the scene of Annunciation and conceiving miraculously with out penile penetration, and a venal lady cashing in.

The reason for rape is the great thing about the feminine physique; rape is a reward bestowed on the gorgeous; beauties are by definition fertile; to be honored is to serve male energy as a seed vessel—such trains of affiliation, already on the core of Titian’s first Danaë model (1544–45), grew to become extra express in his fee for Philip, which spelled out an equation between a girl’s sexual violation by a strong man and her monetary reward and/or spiritual salvation. Along with inserting on the prime fringe of the portray (a piece that has since been eliminated) a supply cloud for the golden bathe with a male face and an eagle, concurrently evoking Jupiter’s animal attribute and the Habsburg crest, Titian swapped out a cupid for the so-called attendant-crone compositional component. Danaë’s aged nursemaid/jailer, corkscrewing her higher physique towards the golden bathe, holds out her scarf to catch stray sprinkles in a gesture of greed, longing, and vicarious pleasure.

Titian, Venus and Adonis, ca. 1553–54, oil on canvas, 73 1⁄4 × 81 1⁄2".

Titian’s first poesia crystallizes a male fantasy of freedom of entry. Its pendant, Venus and Adonis—which affords the male viewer a surrogate physique by which to enter the pictorial world of the feminine nude—conjures up a complementary male freedom. That is the liberty of departure, a freedom introduced concurrently as a type of unfreedom, an obedience to a masculine name of obligation or compulsion to journey. As Erwin Panofsky way back harassed, Venus and Adonis—an immensely well-liked composition which exists in no less than thirty variations—invented an idiosyncratic interpretation of the Adonis fable, interpolating a willful “Flight of Adonis” into the mythological supply textual content. In Ovid, Venus ascends to the heavens, leaving Adonis on his personal briefly; he wanders off to hunt in his lover’s absence, forgetting her instruction that he chorus from chasing massive recreation. In Titian’s rewriting of the parable, a deliberate leave-taking occurs. Adonis pries himself from the goddess’s clinging grasp “virtually as Joseph tears himself away from the spouse of Potiphar.”11 Fitted to the hunt in a tunic and sandals, gripping a feathered dart staked resolutely within the floor, Adonis strides rightward as if he needs to enterprise off the far finish of the canvas. Straining ahead, he pulls Venus’s physique off steadiness as she sits beneath him bare on a tree stump strewn together with her undies, her arms encircling his chest, her pleading gaze assembly not his eyes however his armpit. The goddess a donna abbandonata, the person a decisive agent and creator of his destiny. Even when Titian portends tragic penalties, pointing a beam of morning mild into the darkness of the forest, the place a boar will gore Adonis to loss of life, the image—referred to easily as “Adonis” by Philip, who like its protagonist was an avid hunter, with a royal prerogative to kill boars and different noble beasts of venery—permits itself to be learn as a celebration of exactly what Venus asks Adonis to forswear within the Metamorphoses: “manly braveness,” or virtus, that means actually “high quality or trait entailed in being a vir [man],” with vir additionally linked etymologically to vis, violence/power.12

It’s a distinctive peculiarity of Titian’s poesia, nevertheless, that “manly braveness” seems much less as an inside property of the human man than as a displacement of his will or impulses onto animal surrogates. Adonis’s “flight” towards the hunt is led by his pack of hounds, to whom the person is bodily tethered. The pack features a Spanish pointer, a greyhound, and a 3rd canine, maybe an alano, a big canine of the molosser kind that was to turn into, by the top of the sixteenth century, “the long-lasting canine of the masculine Spanish self,” utilized in guarding, searching, struggle, and American conquest.13 The Spanish pointer, the one canine not leashed to the protagonist, turns again towards Venus with a submissively lowered head and dangling pink tongue, externalizing the softer aspect of Adonis—the aspect of him that’s puppy-loving, pussy-whipped, wanting to sit-stay for the lust object—that the fiercer, leashed canine, sniffing the boar’s scent, are about to win out in opposition to. Venus’s arms, encircling Adonis’s chest, rhyme with the rings of rope tied round his biceps, hooked up to the 2 tethers his canine pressure in opposition to, significantly the alano in excellent profile, whose proper and left forelimbs are in excellent lockstep with Adonis’s legs. As a proxy for Adonis’s selection of—or compulsion towards—manliness, the striding alano, mouth barely open to reveal the decrease canines, distances Adonis from violence as a “high quality or trait entailed in being a vir,” displacing it onto a physique that’s bodily separate and probably able to overpowering his restraint. On the similar time—a lot as Solomon, one in every of Philip’s searching canine on this interval, would have served to externalize his grasp’s political energy and ambition via his kingly appellation—the snarling alano is an extension of Adonis’s id, an aspirational self-projection.14 The canine, in different phrases, is a tool Venus and Adonis deploys to each amplify masculine aggression and start to formulate an excuse for it.

Titian, Diana and Actaeon, 1556–59, oil on canvas, 72 5⁄8 × 79 5⁄8".

TITIAN’S NEXT SET OF PENDANTS for Philip have been authentic mythological compositions. These new works pressed a lot additional with Venus and Adonis’s dramatic emphasis on animal presence, whether or not via the continued presence of canine within the two woodland footage sited at Diana’s sacred spring or via the dolphins, fishes, sea monsters, and swimming bull within the closing pair of marine footage. Notably vital for understanding the emotional and ethical logic of the poesie as a complete are the canine within the two Diana work, the works that represent the cycle’s violent core and, I’d argue, its interpretive key. These footage, probably the most compositionally intricate of the poesie, take up and rework the primary pair’s emphasis on the canine motif, establishing a visible machine that Titian reprises and deepens within the cycle’s concluding canvas.15

For the primary of the Diana pair, Diana and Actaeon, Titian chosen a mythological topic by which canine play a particularly charged position. Actaeon is a noble hunter who stumbles upon Diana and her retinue of virgin huntresses within the forest as they’re bathing bare in a sacred spring. To avert the compromise of her purity and forestall the intruder from reporting what he has seen—and likewise, implicitly, to fend off the specter of rape—Diana splashes Actaeon together with her bathing water to rework the person right into a stag.16 (In some pre-Ovidian variations of the parable, she merely throws a deerskin on him.) This transformation prompts Actaeon’s searching canine—greater than forty canine and bitches catalogued by identify in Ovid, amongst them Killbuck, Wildtooth, Spot, and Savage—to chase and devour him, as Actaeon, robbed of the facility of language, tries and fails to convey his costs again beneath his command. “Actaeon ego sum: dominum cognoscite vestrum!” (I’m Actaeon: Acknowledge your grasp!)

Titian’s interpretation emphasizes the parable’s epiphanic character. It’s a scene of reciprocal discovery and excitation—starting from curious arousal to hostile misery—embodied within the polarized postures of two canine. On the left fringe of the canvas, the younger hunter, a doppelgänger of Adonis, strides in adopted by a Spanish pointer that’s seemingly similar to the one in Venus and Adonis, as if hound and hunter have walked out of 1 composition and reemerged within the subsequent. As Actaeon responds with shock to the imaginative and prescient of the seven bare nymphs earlier than him, along with his arms outstretched and fingers unfold, his pointer registers extra explicitly the inner arousal of the human grasp; as John Beusterien noticed, the canine’s upward-angled snout “suggests Actaeon’s erect member.”17 This visible rhyming of male genitals and canine snout remembers Titian’s 1533 portrait of Philip’s father, Charles V, by which a big mastiff’s “up-thrusting,” “questing muzzle” sniffs the air simply above the king’s codpiece, in a gesture that appears to level—in tandem along with his grasp’s index finger—at Charles’s genitals because the bodily seat and synecdoche of his energy, an influence that the image likens to a “eager searching canine,” “eternally cocksure, on the prowl, on the sniff-about.”18 In Diana and Actaeon, this affiliation of the human male’s intercourse and canine’s snout is repeated to show in opposition to itself, to turn into the exact locus of the male determine’s vulnerability slightly than his energy.

Titian, Emperor Charles V with a Dog, 1533, oil on canvas, 76 3⁄8 × 44 3⁄8".

Titian’s poesia indicators this vulnerability not solely via the marginally open jaws of a canine who will devour his grasp imminently, but additionally via the impression that Actaeon’s sexuality is on show or beneath inspection. That is significantly evident within the interaction of Actaeon and the leftmost nymph, seated beneath him on a marble basin. The interplay of those characters is mediated by a heavy swag of scalloped pink material, which hangs inexplicably from the grotto’s vaulted rafters by what appears like the skinny filament of a spiderweb. Actaeon seems concurrently to recoil and to tug again the material to intrude on the shrouded house of the ladies, whereas the nymph raises the fabric’s backside edge as if to reveal Actaeon’s presence and study him. Certainly, this nymph, who in a single hand lifts the free-floating curtain and within the different holds a mirror, seems greater than every other determine in all of the poesie to be actively participating in imaginative and prescient, a imaginative and prescient that in her case appears to have been significantly directed towards Actaeon’s pubic area. Titian distinctly suggests, via the gust of wind that blows the underside of the hunter’s tunic upward and thru the emphasis on the reflective floor of the water beneath him, {that a} fortuitous play of breezes, angles, and reflections—or perhaps even a deliberate manipulation of the mirror’s place—has provided that nymph a glimpse between Actaeon’s legs. Her look backward appears to course of this imaginative and prescient and gauge the reactions of her fellow virgins. One nymph appears considerably dreamily towards Actaeon, whereas Diana, on the far proper fringe of the canvas, beneath a birch hung with deerskins, stares down sternly and shields her face. Her two closest companions—a Black feminine maid and a toy spaniel—outwardly specific her contained concern and aggression; the maid appears at Actaeon in wide-eyed alarm, and the spaniel visibly barks at him. The parable’s essence is conveyed via a visible triangle that unites three compositional parts: Actaeon’s pointer, along with his “up-thrusting” muzzle, Diana’s yapping spaniel, and the stag’s cranium going through out from the grotto’s column—a harbinger of Actaeon’s impending loss of life.19 

Titian, The Death of Actaeon, ca. 1559–75, oil on canvas, 70 3⁄8 × 77 7⁄8".

There isn’t a query that the thought of loss of life by canine was a persistent fascination for Titian. In 1559, the painter promised Philip a companion image of “Actaeon torn to shreds by his canine,” which he finally by no means delivered however did start. It exhibits the hunter’s still-human physique, topped with a stag’s head, pounced upon by three hounds, one in every of whom sinks enamel into his leg. The Flaying of Marsyas, ca. 1570–76, a unprecedented late image which will or might not have been meant for Philip, famously renders in its heart foreground a toy spaniel—just like the one guarding Diana in Diana and Actaeon—lapping up the blood of the flayed satyr. Within the backside proper nook of Marsyas, Titian included a toddler satyr who stares out of the image, restraining by the collar a big searching spaniel with a distinguished decrease canine tooth and a watch that glints outward.20 Titian’s evident penchant for envisioning eventualities of canine feeding on human (or semihuman) flesh means that his funding within the Actaeon fable stemmed from greater than merely its standing as a morality story by which, within the interpretations of early-modern artists and writers, “canine convey the picture that man is pushed to self-destruction by his worldly temptations.”21 The canine on this fable maintain an curiosity for Titian that’s far more than merely symbolic. As Sarah Cohen argues in a forthcoming guide on animal representations in early-modern Europe, all through his oeuvre Titian treats the canine as a “free-standing, psychologically inflected agent.”22 His works give vivid bodily actuality to particular person canine and canine breeds; they interact imaginatively with the psychological complexities and ethical ambiguities of canine existence in companionship with a species claiming “mastery” over them—an ethical ambiguity that maybe Titian additionally projected onto his understanding of the violent behaviors of people.

Titian, The Flaying of Marsyas, probable date ca. 1570s, oil on canvas, 86 5⁄8 × 80 5⁄8".

The mythological violence painted by Titian can’t be divorced from actual violence in his sixteenth-century world. For example, the mode of loss of life depicted in The Flaying of Marsyas has been linked, albeit controversially, with the flaying alive of the Venetian commander Marcantonio Bragadin after the Ottoman siege of Famagusta in 1571.23 Notably given how the canine in Titian’s mythological footage, clearly painted from residing fashions, seem like little eruptions of up to date actuality inside scenes of fantasy, Titian’s evocation of loss of life by canine within the Actaeon fable could be equally shot via with up to date resonance. Certainly, it’s stunning—particularly given its fee by Philip, so-called King of the New World (novi orbis rex)—that Titian’s image of a mythic hunter “whose canine greedily lapped their grasp’s blood” (canes satiatae sanguine erili) has not been thought of in relation to the devouring canine that hang-out the earliest accounts of the Spanish incursion into the Americas. Such canine determine on both aspect of the sixteenth century’s “polemics of possession”—each within the celebratory conquest chronicles and within the condemnations of the conquistadors’ critics.24 Titian despatched the primary of the poesie to his patron in 1553, only one yr after Bartolomé de las Casas devoted A Very Transient Relation of the Devastation of the Indies, his printed denunciation of the atrocities being dedicated by Spanish colonists, to the “most excessive and most mighty Prince of Spain, our Lord the Prince Philip.”25 (Las Casas’s subtly sarcastic dedication notes that Philip may need “by no means discovered the time to learn” the manuscript model of his textual content, delivered to the prince ten years prior, or else he had “maybe allowed it to slide to the again of [his] thoughts.”)26

Artist unknown, Manuscrito del aperreamiento (Manuscript of the Dogging), 1560, ink and pigment on paper, 16 7⁄8 × 12 1⁄4".

“Canine took heart stage” in Las Casas’s tract, as Bénédicte Boisseron emphasised in her latest guide Afro-Canine, a superb examine of how Black life was each pitted in opposition to and recognized with animal life within the Americas from the earliest phases of colonization and enslavement to the civil rights motion and past. Las Casas established a “repetitive and virtually compulsive sample of . . . tales of canine consuming people,” creating what would turn into, within the sadistic sympathy of the European imaginary, the “predominant emblem of [colonial] atrocity”: the “picture of canine chasing and consuming slaves” and Indigenous Individuals.27 The figuration of this emblem occurred on each side of the Atlantic. The Lienzo de Tlaxcala (Tlaxcala Canvas), painted circa 1552 by a Tlaxcalteca artist from the central Mexican state, which allied with the Spanish invaders to overthrow the Aztec empire in 1521, depicts a mastiff with an enormous pink tongue and pronounced penis marching alongside Spanish and Tlaxcalan troopers towards the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. One other work precisely contemporaneous with Titian’s poesie cycle is the so-called Manuscrito del aperreamiento (Manuscript of the Dogging). Painted by a Nahua artist on European paper within the Mesoamerican metropolis of Cholula in 1560, the Manuscrito del aperreamiento depicts Hernán Cortés presiding over a kneeling Spaniard who holds the leash of a chained canine mauling the excessive priest, or Tlalchiachteotzin, of Cholula, whose cape of feathers is soaked by a necklace of gushing blood. Six Cholulan noblemen in chains await the identical remedy.28 20 years after Philip obtained Titian’s Diana and Actaeon, Theodore de Bry printed some of the extensively circulated pictures of Spanish “dogging” within the fourth quantity of America (1594), his well-liked compendium of engravings imagining European exploits within the “New World.” The picture, captioned Balboa casts the Indians introduced collectively for the unspeakable sin of sodomy, to be torn to items by canine, represents an notorious incident, courting to the yr 1513, when Vasco Núnez de Balboa, en path to turning into the primary European to achieve the Pacific Ocean, deputized his companion animals to punish a gaggle of Indigenous males for his or her perceived sexual violations. The print exhibits six canine co-colonists—maybe together with Balboa’s well-known alano Leoncico (“little lion”), who was sired by Becarillo (“little bull calf”), the equally well-known canine of Ponce de León—mauling 4 bare males on the bottom in entrance of a daintily-standing-by viewers of eight clothed Europeans.29

Detail of a ca. 1892 lithograph reproduction of the Lienzo de Tlaxcala (Tlaxcala Canvas), ca. 1552.

A lot because the “King of the New World” might have wished such violent practices “to slide to the again of [his] thoughts,” Philip, the meant recipient of Diana and Actaeon in addition to the addressee of Las Casas, couldn’t have been ignorant of those colonial canine associations. They might or might not have been aware for Titian, although traditionally, they may have been, given Venice’s place as Europe’s publishing headquarters and therefore its “foremost clearinghouse . . . of New World info.”30 Definitely, it could possibly be argued that the presence of Diana’s Afro-descended feminine attendant—whose pores and skin Titian intentionally modified from white to black in a late revision of the composition—obliquely acknowledged the continued technique of American colonization, which concerned, along with the large-scale seizure of territories and the violent subjugation of Indigenous Individuals, the importation of enslaved Africans, a follow that accelerated throughout Philip’s reign.31 Furthermore, small canine just like the one accompanying Diana, as Beusterien has harassed, carried robust New World associations.32 It’s hardly stunning that Titian would have discovered an evocation of geography within the fable of Diana and Actaeon, given the best way Actaeon’s discovery of bare virgins resonates with Europe’s constant sexualization of its preliminary encounter with the New World. This ubiquitous trope is epitomized in a well-known late-sixteenth-century poem by John Donne, “To His Mistress Going to Mattress,” by which the imaginative and prescient of a feminine lover’s unclothed physique prompts the exclamation “O my America! My new-found-land.”

Theodore de Bry, Balboa casts the Indians brought together for the unspeakable sin of sodomy, to be torn to pieces by dogs, 1594, engraving, 6 1⁄4 × 7 3⁄4". From America, 1590–1634.

However Titian—in distinction to Donne, who permits the lover-conqueror to brag, “How blest am I on this discovering thee!”—imagines not blessings however a curse for the discoverer. Diana and Actaeon is a role-reversing image. Titian’s doubled Adonis-Actaeon determine—Venus and Adonis’s hunter-adventurer, a would-be conquistador—inadvertently (like Columbus) “discovers” virgins, or virgin territory, introduced as simply throughout a physique of water. For his discovery, Diana topics the intruder to a contrapasso, inflicting an emblematically colonial mechanism of punishment. Furthermore, fairly considerably, she inflicts a punishment at instances enacted by the Spanish in a symbolically sexualized method, as a way of imposing obligatory heterosexuality and imposing their culturally particular norms of “virile” masculinity.33 

In Afro-Canine, Boisseron poses a basic query about crime and culpability: “As an adjunct, ought to the canine share the burden of the crime?” For Boisseron, this query touches on the canine’s historic standing as “an adjunct to racial discrimination,” its entrapment inside a historic dynamic of American conquest and enslavement by which “the [European] human and the [imported, large breed] canine compound[ed] one another’s constructed viciousness in a mutual ‘turning into in opposition to.’” As she argues, all of that historical past is “not the accountability of the canine,” and but “one should still query the legal responsibility of the canine on this bloody mess.”34 Whether or not or not it may be stated that Titian was intentionally evoking colonial violence in his poesie, he was actually reckoning with questions of culpability, and, extra particularly, with the culpability of events whose full answerability for his or her actions is ostensibly unsure.

The determine of Actaeon’s canine haunts the following poesie, by which Titian asks the viewer to think about the aftermath of Actaeon’s violent loss of life from the angle of his canine assassin.35 This aftermath additionally marks the second when Titian’s remedy of animal figures takes on a brand new diploma of indecipherability. (Right here, I’m bracketing consideration of Perseus and Andromeda, which was painted out of sequence and is to my eye much less important in growing the themes of the 2 ultimate poesie.)36 In Venus and Adonis and Diana and Actaeon, canine bodily underline actions and make clear emotional impulses of human protagonists; they perform very like the colourful swags and gossamer ribbons Titian deploys as “emotional and narrative intensifier[s].”37 Following Diana and Actaeon, the perform of animals shifts. In Diana and Callisto and The Rape of Europa, sure animals start to work extra like mitigators or, higher, ambiguifiers, complicating any effort to pin these footage down when it comes to their exculpations or indictments. They give the impression of being out of the photographs within the standard posture of “choric figures, affective guides to response,” however fail to legibly information the viewer.38 

Titian, Diana and Callisto (detail), 1556–59, oil on canvas, 73 5⁄8 × 80 1⁄2".

The canine turning out to face the viewer in Diana and Callisto is a working example. This canine, whose distinctive facial markings denote him because the animal following behind Actaeon within the prior composition, seems alongside a taupe greyhound in a sleeping sphinx posture, his tongue out to lap at Diana’s sacred spring water—the water the goddess orders Callisto to not “pollute” together with her stained, sexually violated physique.39 The greyhound’s red-and-gold studded collar, matching the one on the pointer within the pendant image, clearly marks him as a former member of Actaeon’s pack. The presence of Actaeon’s canine amongst Diana’s nymphs raises sure questions on canine morality (or amorality) in relation to canine nature and nurture. In Apollodorus’s pre-Ovidian narration of the parable, Killbuck, Wildtooth, Spot, Savage, and all the remaining fall into deep, unrelenting mourning after Actaeon’s homicide, looking in useless for his or her misplaced grasp.40 Titian evokes but additionally calls into query that trope of dogged constancy. The greyhound seems glad as a clam, Actaeon lengthy forgotten; in his obvious contentment beneath Diana’s area, the greyhound conveys canine subjection to speedy sensory impulses and the exterior affect of a grasp (or mistress), components that would appear to pose the canine as amoral. The pointer, nevertheless, is a extra indecipherable determine. He could be learn as uncomprehending and oblivious, like his companion. But one thing in his gaze, and his hung head, telegraphs disappointment.

It’s a distinctive peculiarity of Titian’s poesie that “manly braveness” seems much less as an inside property of the human man than as a displacement of his will or impulses onto animal surrogates.

Whose aspect are the canine on? Has Diana tamed and claimed them? Made them her spoils of gender struggle, residing indicators of her overcome Actaeon? It’s unclear whether or not we’re to learn the pointer staring out of the image, surrounded by searching weapons, as a possible agent of Diana’s retributive justice, a violent power held in reserve that may, in a second, be unleashed to chase Callisto when she—identical to Actaeon, and carrying almost similar orange buskins—is banished to the encircling woods. The nymph’s arm, supporting her weight as she sits on the bottom in entrance of the pointer, can seem like an improvised gate, positioned there to halt the animal momentarily till Diana bids him give chase. On the similar time, that arm conveys a way of the canine’s entrapment, as if he have been being held in opposition to his will, as if Diana and her band had made him their captive and sufferer or, maybe greater than something, made him a sufferer of himself—a sufferer of the violent coaching he obtained from his grasp, and by extension a sufferer of his personal intrinsic canine nature.

The pointer’s stare out of Diana and Callisto raises all of those conundrums of interpretation with respect to the story of the prior pendant image. It additionally essentially feedback on the mythological occasion transpiring on the canvas by which it seems. Diana and Callisto—which subtly refers again to Danaë’s insemination by bathe, with a stone putto pouring a loaded stroke of lead-white fountain water down its heart—is the poesia that presents the darkest view of rape by far. The image acknowledges and condenses right into a single “pregnant second” rape’s shattering aftereffects: for Callisto, disgrace and secrecy, the undesirable metamorphosis of her physique via being pregnant, the ostracism of her feminine friends, Diana’s banishment. (After Callisto is banished, Jupiter’s spouse, Juno, takes but extra vengeance upon her, punishing her husband’s infidelity by punitively reworking Callisto into an unpleasant bear. Many years later, when Callisto’s son by Jupiter is searching and virtually shoots her, the god lastly intervenes with a compensatory transformation: Callisto and her son turn into the constellations Ursa Main and Ursa Minor.)

How does the pointer relate to this story of rape? One has the impulse to learn knowingness into his canine visage; his is the one face within the image that appears outward to satisfy our gaze, and the one face that appears to register a pathos commensurate with Callisto’s destiny. Actaeon’s pointer could be learn as expressing sympathy for her predicament. But in addition, maybe, his responsible look bears upon what was performed to her. For all through the poesie, searching canine have served, in spite of everything, as a proxy for masculinity. And in Diana and Callisto—the one portray within the cycle the place divine or human males are absent—Actaeon’s two canine seem as the one male our bodies within the image.

Titian, The Rape of Europa, 1559–62, oil on canvas, 70 1⁄8 × 80 3⁄4".

“GENTLEMEN, WOMAN IS an animal that micturates as soon as a day, defecates as soon as per week, menstruates as soon as a month, parturiates annually and copulates at any time when she has the chance.” A nonpareil sentence, courtesy of W. Somerset Maugham, quoted as damning proof in Andrea Dworkin’s Intercourse (1987).41 We’ve grown accustomed to feminist critiques revolving across the notion that patriarchy entails the animalization of girls. These embrace critiques of the crudest form of symptomatic logic put within the crosshairs by Dworkin, in addition to latest condemnations of extra delicate types of animalization: for example, the notion that male dominance enforces itself by coaching ladies with rewards and punishments to subordinate their autonomy of will, like home animals. Down Woman, the foretitle of ethical thinker Kate Manne’s extensively learn 2017 guide The Logic of Misogyny, is seemingly partially a reference to a command lovingly obeyed by Panko, the creator’s feminine canine, who, in response to Manne, can thrive beneath situations of “rule following” that she, as a “human being,” can not.42

Maybe much less consideration has been paid to the reverse equation, so powerfully materialized within the poesie of Titian: the animalization of males (by males) as an alibi or enabling fiction.43 In closing, I’ll flip to the poesie’s concluding image, by which, I enterprise, Titian transposes the outward gaze of Actaeon’s responsible canine onto a divine rape perpetrator, who now appears out towards us not within the aftermath of violence however within the act.

The Rape of Europa—which Titian referred to easily as “Europa and the Bull”—dramatizes a second within the lifetime of a legendary Phoenician princess whose id could be eternally memorialized within the naming of a strong place. The parable of Europa’s seize and transcontinental transport is one by which, importantly, animality serves as a masks of innocence. To trick Europa, Jupiter assumes the guise of a very light, enticing bull, becoming a member of the herds of her father’s cattle. In Ovid’s telling, Europa is charmed by this unthreatening creature. She pets it and twines its horns with wreaths of flowers. When the animal reclines in entrance of her, she sits on its again, and the bull takes sudden flight, operating out to sea and swimming to Crete, the place, reaching shore, he rapes her, impregnating her with twin sons, Minos and Rhadamanthus, who turn into the founders of Minoan and Cycladic—and by extension European, as the parable contends—civilization.

Paolo Veronese, The Rape of Europa, 1570, oil on canvas on wood panel, 23 × 27 1⁄2". Photo: The National Gallery, London.

Titian’s seaborne remedy of the topic was idiosyncratic in its absence of any outward indications—save the bull’s floral crown—of Europa’s complicity in her seize. This complicity, hinted at within the fable itself, is performed up by different sixteenth-century painters, comparable to Veronese, who invariably painting Europa onshore earlier than her abduction, pampering and making a pet of the bull, crowning him with flowers, maybe nestling in his lap as he licks her foot. In distinction to those tranquil on-land idylls, Titian’s portray is a rendering of the kidnapping. It’s a scene of frantic kinetic agitation that appears to unfold in lumbering gradual movement. The bull—a strikingly lifelike creature in all probability based mostly on a carefully studied mannequin—heaves Europa’s physique throughout the deep towards an impending storm cloud. Europa, supine, balances precariously on the bull’s again in an ungainly twisting pose, together with her legs open and her knees bent to maintain her toes out of the water, the place a sea monster swims beneath her. She clings to one in every of her kidnapper’s horns whereas turning again within the route of the shoreline, the place her family and friends recede into the gap and dissolve into the thinnest layer of paint. Europa’s eyes roll again in her head in order that solely the whites are seen, as if she have been on the precipice of dropping consciousness, her face caught at nighttime shadow forged by her arm, from which waves a fluttering coral silk that reads as each a misery sign and a matador’s muleta. The amorini who fly within the sky and journey a dolphin behind her, who at first seem as wanting to return to her assist, focalize her impending violation by directing their gazes towards her interior haunches and pubic triangle.

The portray stabilizes across the gaze of the bull: his furry, furrowed, virtually frowning brow; his spherical, watery eyes; the blushing pink of his eyelid rims and nostril leather-based, which harmonize with the pink fabric Europa waves. His expression has been perceived variously by interpreters. Nathaniel Silver describes an “virtually comedian expression of feigned innocence.”44 Mary Reid Kelley perceives a knowingly comedian determine, “ready for the snicker,” “taking a look at you want, Did you get that?”45 The artwork historian Jane Nash sees him slightly in another way, remarking that the bull’s expression is “anxious,’” a fear she understands to be directed towards the “ugly, toothy fish swimming at his aspect,” although she acknowledges it’s nonsensical for the “all-powerful Jupiter [to] worr[y] a few comparatively powerless fish.”46 Certainly, there’s something in regards to the bull that makes him seem pathetic or susceptible—one thing that tugs on the feelings. “I’m going all cutesy in regards to the bull,” Mary Beard admitted in a dialog the Gardner organized across the poesie, by which she described herself as “the proper dupe of Titian.” As a result of, as she put it, “that cutesy little bull is a tawdry rapist, and never solely that, he’s the tawdry rapist that you simply discover in the event you scratch the floor of any god . . . or any man.”47 Is Jupiter-as-bull proudly owning as much as this? When, as in The Rape of Europa, the determine staring out of the image shouldn’t be, as with the outward-gazing pointer in Diana and Callisto, an adjunct to the principle motion however slightly the precise perpetrator, the act of going through out equates much more with a going through up, with an admission or acknowledgment of guilt. To supply such in an animal kind, nevertheless, is to carry out a form of self-expiation: I can’t assist myself; it’s in my nature.

The gaze of the bull is a solicitous gaze within the sense that it appears to look to us awaiting punishment, or, maybe, permission, with respect to each the sexual violence unfolding within the composition and, maybe extra broadly, with respect to the violence of the civilization allegorized within the poesie’s concluding composition. As students have harassed, a tiny ship with inflated sails on the horizon line behind Europa echoes the type of her physique atop the bull, waving her silk that catches wind. On this concluding picture of the cycle––a cycle that’s Eurocentric in probably the most literal sense, with every thing main towards and climaxing in a personification of this “continent”—Titian analogizes Jupiter transporting his captive prey throughout the ocean to a ship crusing throughout an ocean. This quintessential software of European energy within the early centuries of transatlantic colonization would have been a very potent image for Philip, whose empire—the most important the world had recognized—was constructed upon the expertise of oceangoing carracks. The influence of this maritime energy is mirrored in Titian’s iconography as a lot as in his works’ materials construction; the technical revolution in oil portray caused by the brand new assist of canvas, which Titian pushed ahead via his progressive dealing with of the medium, was born in his hometown of Venice partially due to the provision of the material in a metropolis of sailmakers.

And if Europa is the sail/canvas, Titian is the bull/ship: The painter crops an indication of himself and his implement within the physique of Europa’s captor. It’s no coincidence that the bull’s lengthy, rippling tail, flying out in a sinuous line between Europa’s naked ft to finish in a wild tassel, carries each an apparent sexual symbolism and an allusion to the painter’s brush, that factor “born . . . from the bristle or tail hair.”48 

Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen is appearing director of the Williams Graduate Program within the Historical past of Artwork on the Clark Artwork Institute in Williamstown, MA. Her first guide, Fashionable Artwork and the Remaking of Human Disposition, was launched final November by College of Chicago Press. 


1. John Beusterien, in a examine that has knowledgeable my interpretation, emphasizes the significance of a extremely gendered “huge–small canine discursive custom” within the early-modern interval, which is pertinent to Titian’s cycle of images. See Canines in Cervantes and Velázquez: An Animal Research Studying of Early Fashionable Spain (Farnham, UK: Routledge, 2013), 64.

2. Titian, knowingly or not, reversed the order of tales he drew from within the Metamorphoses, the place Callisto’s story seems in Ebook II, earlier than Actaeon’s in Ebook III.

3. Maria H. Loh, Titian’s Contact: Artwork, Magic and Philosophy (London: Reaktion Books, 2019), 229. She additionally asserts that “Titian’s spirit animal was undoubtedly a canine,” 18.

4. See “Chosen Correspondence,” in Titian: Love, Want, Demise, ed. Matthias Wivel (London: Nationwide Gallery Firm, 2020), 194–203.

5. For the illustration of this commonplace idea in painted mythological cycles for princes, see Margaret D. Carroll, “The Erotics of Absolutism: Rubens and the Mystification of Sexual Violence,” Representations, no. 25 (1989): 3–30.

6. Titian himself additionally by no means noticed the works collectively; he labored in Venice, by no means touring to Spain, and despatched the photographs piecemeal as he accomplished them. In his letters to Philip, he assumes they are going to be hung in a single camerino. It’s potential that Philip by no means noticed them or hung them collectively.

7. See Aneta Georgievska-Shine, “Titian, Europa, and the Seal of the Poesie,” Artibus et Historiae 28, no. 56 (2007): 177–85.

8. “On the Illustration of Sexual Violence in Present Exhibitions, with Assets for Survivors and Supporters” www.gardnermuseum .org/exhibition/women-myth-power/representation-sexual-violence. Predictably, this assertion attracted scorn from the sorts of cultural theorists accustomed to inveighing in opposition to “the triumph of political correctness in artwork historical past” via such metaphors as “The Rape of the Masters.” Roger Kimball, “The Rape of the Masters,” The New Criterion 22, no. 4 (2003): 28; and Roger Kimball, “Killing Artwork,” American Greatness, August 14, 2021, Additionally predictably, such writers seized on the whiff of contradiction they detected within the museum’s motivations, which, in response to The Federalist, wished to “rejoice the work but additionally interact in pearl-clutching in regards to the Renaissance patriarchy,” Jonathan S. Tobin, “Placing Set off Warnings on Nice Masterpieces Misses the Level of Artwork,” The Federalist, September 2, 2021,

It’s price noting that Titian’s textual supply for the poesie has turn into one of many touchstones of debates in regards to the necessity or misguidedness of set off warnings on American school campuses. In 2015, Columbia College college students singled out the Metamorphoses as emblematic of a broader want for content material flagging within the faculty’s required “Nice Books” programs, owing to its “vivid depictions of rape and sexual assault.” See Kai Johnson, Tanika Lynch, Elizabeth Monroe, and Tracey Wang, “Our Identities Matter in Core Lecture rooms,” Columbia Spectator, April 30, 2015, For a number of the copious commentary sparked by this op-ed, see Eliana Dochterman, “Columbia Undergrads Say Greek Mythology Wants a ‘Set off Warning,’” Time, Might 15, 2015,, and Katy Waldman, “Studying Ovid within the Age of #MeToo,” New Yorker, February 12, 2018,

9. I’m referring, respectively, to the audio responses recorded by the artwork historians Shawon Kinew and Jill Burke. In an extra exploration of the query raised by Burke, author Hilton Als composed and carried out a dramatic monologue contemplating the poesie “from the longer term Queen’s perspective.” Different responses to works within the gallery have been recorded by Helga Davis, Matisse DuPont, Johnette Marie Ellis, Steve Locke.

10. The US State Division’s up to date definition of rape is “The penetration, irrespective of how slight, of the vagina or anus with any physique half or object, or oral penetration by a intercourse organ of one other individual, with out the consent of the sufferer,” “An Up to date Definition of Rape,” US State Division, January 6, 2012, In Titian’s Italy, the crime of rape was sometimes solely prosecuted if the violated get together was a virgin and it was labeled as defloratio or stuprum—theft of virginity, which was a property crime in opposition to a girl’s father or male guardian. See Elizabeth S. Cohen, “The Trials of Artemisia Gentileschi: A Rape as Historical past,” The Sixteenth Century Journal 31, no. 1 (2000): 47–75.

11. Erwin Panofsky, Issues in Titian, Largely Iconographic (New York: New York College Press, 1969), 152.

12. I take the interpretation of virtus as “manly braveness” from Frank Justus Miller’s Loeb Classical Library translation of the Metamorphoses. The associative cluster virtus, vir, vis, together with its hyperlinks to sexual power, is spelled out clearly within the seventh-century etymologies of Isidore of Seville. “A person (vir) is so known as, as a result of in him resides higher energy (vis) than in a girl—therefore additionally ‘power’ (virtus) obtained its identify—or else as a result of he offers with a girl by power (vis),” in The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville, trans. Stephan A. Barney et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge College Press, 2006), 242. See additionally Myles Anthony McDonnell, Roman Manliness: Virtus and the Roman Republic (Cambridge: Cambridge College Press, 2006). For the tendency to interpret Venus and Adonis as an ethical selection between voluptas and virtus and to determine it merely as “Adonis,” see Luba Freedman, “The Vainly Imploring Goddess in Titian’s Venus and Adonis,” in Titian: Materiality, Likeness, Istoria, ed. Joanna Woods-Marsden (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2007), 83–96, 93.

13. Canines in Cervantes and Velázquez, 62. Beusterien attributes to the alano “the standing of the Spaniard’s ‘greatest buddy’ within the sense it was a projection of rising masculine and nationwide fantasies, significantly as co-protagonist with butchers in bullfighting, but additionally with nobleman hunters and conquistadors,” 56.

14. For Solomon, see Juan Rafael de la Cuadra Blanco, “King Philip of Spain as Solomon the Second: The Origins of Solomonism of the Escorial within the Netherlands,” in The Seventh Window: The King’s Window Donated by Philip II and Mary Tudor to Sint Janskerk in Gouda (1557), ed. Wim de Groot (Hilversum, Netherlands: Verloren, 2005), 169–80, 173.

15. There may be disagreement amongst consultants about which of the extant variations of Danaë Titian produced for Philip. The exhibition’s organizers embraced the view that it was the one now in London’s Wellington Assortment and subsequently exhibited that model. Charles Hope and others proceed to consider Philip was given the Prado’s model. I agree with Hope that the Prado Danaë is finer in its execution; moreover, the sleeping toy spaniel at Danaë’s aspect in that model is echoed by the toy canine that accompanies Diana in a subsequent poesia, an echo consistent with Titian’s evident consideration to interpictorial improvement via animal iconography throughout the opposite poesie. See

16. For a studying of the Diana–Actaeon episode as presupposing Diana’s information of prior rapes informed of within the Metamorphoses, significantly of nymphs in her retinue, see John Heath, “Diana’s Understanding of Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses,’” Classical Journal 86, no. 3 (1991): 233–43.

17. Beusterien, 61.

18. Michael Glover, Thrust: A Spasmodic Pictorial Historical past of the Codpiece in Artwork (New York: Zwirner Books, 2019), 27–28. Titian’s portrait of Charles V was a duplicate of an earlier model by Jakob Seisenegger, to which Titian made a key revision. As Sarah Cohen brilliantly factors out in a forthcoming guide, Titian cropped out the stomach of the canine in Seisenegger’s portrait, the place distinguished teats marked the canine as feminine, “thus masculinizing the 2 topics as a pair.” See Sarah Cohen, Picturing Animals in Early Fashionable Europe: Artwork and Soul (Turnhout, Belgium: Harvey Miller/Brepols, forthcoming), 82. The dearth of sexual dimorphism in canine (past delicate variations in dimension) implies that, until sexual organs are pictured, their genders usually are not readily seen and are thus far more open to socially contingent contextual cues and inferences.

19. Simona Cohen, Animals as Disguised Symbols in Renaissance Artwork (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2008), 162.

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20. See Sarah Cohen, Picturing Animals in Early Fashionable Europe, 90. Cohen’s studying of this image profoundly illuminates this important figural pair within the decrease proper nook, which Titian reworked repeatedly to some extent of intentionally unresolved perfection. She notes, amongst different issues, how the canine’s limbs fuse with the our bodies of different figures round him and the way the satyr-dog pair push ahead an inclination in Titian’s portray for the viewer to be “engaged as a bodily witness by a canine.” On my studying right here, this facet of The Flaying of Marsyas develops a technique already crystallized within the poesie.

21. Cohen, Animals as Disguised Symbols in Renaissance Artwork, 159. 

22. Cohen, Picturing Animals in Early Fashionable Europe, 79.

23. See Loh, Titian’s Contact, 218–19.

24. I take this phrase from Rolena Adorno, The Polemics of Possession in Spanish American Narrative (New Haven: Yale College Press, 2014).

25. The printed Transient Relation of 1552 transcribes the speech Las Casas learn in 1542 on the Council of the Indies, which was delivered to the prince in a manuscript model. “Polemics is the abiding trait of all Spanish-colonial-era writings, and it was due to polemics and ongoing controversies that the Council of Castile and the Council of the Indies, beneath the management of Philip II, noticed match to watch and management the publication and dissemination of writings in regards to the Indies, particularly from 1556 onwards,” Adorno, 13. It’s also important that Titian’s graduation of the poesie cycle coincides precisely with the Valladolid debate (1550–51), by which Las Casas and Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, in entrance of a junta of fourteen authorized students and theologians, formally debated whether or not the Spanish had a good of struggle within the Americas, whether or not Indigenous Individuals have been inferior to the Europeans, and whether or not it was subsequently official to subjugate them by violent power. The controversy ended inconclusively; the junta shunned saying a winner, and each Las Casas and Sepúlveda claimed victory.

26. Bartolomé de las Casas, A Very Transient Relation of the Devastation of the Indies, Open Anthology of American Literature, 

27. Bénédicte Boisseron, Afro-Canine: Blackness and the Animal Query (New York: Columbia College Press, 2018), 84.

28. The homicide depicted within the manuscript appears again on the aftermath of the destruction of Tenochtitlan in 1521, when Cortés was working out of Coyoacán, the place these executions are recorded as having taken place. See Lori Boornazian Diel, “Manuscrito del Aperreamiento (Manuscript of the Dogging): A ‘Dogging’ and Its Implications for Early Colonial Cholula,” Ethnohistory 58, no. 4 (October 1, 2011): 585–611; Lori Boornazian Diel, “The Spectacle of Demise in Early Colonial New Spain within the Manuscrito del Aperreamiento,” in “Demise and Afterlife within the Early Fashionable Hispanic World,” ed. John Beusterien and Constance Cortez, particular challenge, Hispanic Points 7 (2010): 144–63. There are additionally pictures of Spanish dogging in works that predate the second of Titian’s poesie, such because the Lienzo de Quauhquechollan and Lienzo de Analco (each ca. 1530s).

29. These murders, reported to have focused a gaggle of males together with the brother of the king within the village of Quarequa, are first recorded by the Italian conquest chronicler Pietro Martire d’Anghiera, in De orbe novo a long time (Alcalá, 1516). For a wealthy dialogue of de Bry’s print, see Jonathan Goldberg, Sodometries: Renaissance Texts, Fashionable Sexualities (Stanford, CA: Stanford College Press, 1992), 179–222. For the historical past of Spanish-conquest canines, see Abel Alves, The Animals of Spain: An Introduction to Imperial Perceptions and Human Interplay with Different Animals, 1492–1826 (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2011), 149–85; probably the most complete details about conquest canines is contained in a quantity that’s appalling in its callous and triumphalist tone, John Grier Varner and Jeannette Johnson Varner, Canine of the Conquest (Norman: College of Oklahoma Press, 1983). Using canine as devices for the violent management of Indigenous populations dates to the very earliest phases of colonization within the Americas—Christopher Columbus is reported to have used canine on this method in 1494 in present-day Jamaica.

30. Elizabeth Horodowich describes sixteenth-century Venice as “a metropolis of the Americas: not a lot in its visible, materials, and even business kinds, however in its print tradition and, extra considerably, within the psychological universe of its discovered residents and their methods of fascinated about the broader world.” See The Venetian Discovery of America: Geographic Creativeness within the Age of Encounters (Cambridge: Cambridge College Press, 2018), 3, 5.

31. Right here I’m growing Beusterien, who observes that “one might . . . interpret [Diana and Actaeon] via a colonial lens. Actaeon and his massive canine ‘uncover’ Diana, accompanied by an African servant and small canine,” Canines in Cervantes and Velázquez, 61. For proof of a sample of affiliation between the iconography of Diana and Actaeon and perceptions and allegorical representations of America that postdate Titian, see Mia L. Bagneris, “Brown-Skinned Booty, or Colonising Diana: Combined-Race Venuses and Vixens because the Fruits of Imperial Enterprise,” in Colouring the Caribbean: Race and the Artwork of Agostino Brunias (Manchester, UK: Manchester College Press, 2018), 136–81.

32. He observes: “The early trendy interval in Europe bred and designed small and huge canine with gendered and ennobling symbolics. Europe represented the Spanish canine, the ‘spaniel,’ as small, whereas, in distinction, Spain represented the American canine as small. The Spanish invested the large canine with knightly, masculine values and related the small canine with ladies and outsiders, most particularly native Individuals. Spaniards arrived to America with their very own massive pure-bred soldier canine and regarded American canine as gozques, a time period that implied each smaller dimension and impurity of casta,” Canines in Cervantes and Velázquez, 58. Boisseron emphasizes, following Marion Schwartz’s A Historical past of Canine within the Early Americas, “that Columbus discovered small, nonbarking canine that he used as firm and, sometimes, as meals, throughout his journey to the Antilles. The indigenous Tainos known as them Aons,” whereas, in contrast, “massive mastiffs have been first imported to the Americas with the intention to monitor recalcitrant Indians and in a while, throughout slavery, to chase runaway slaves. This kind of canine importation was prevalent within the historical past of the Spanish, French, and English colonies within the Americas, from the Conquest to the plantation period. Based mostly on what we all know now, it’s secure to say that giant canine have been imported to the Americas as ‘imply canine,’ and their position was to self-discipline the ‘dangerous,’ disobedient black,” Boisseron, 48.

33. Right here it isn’t irrelevant that Jupiter’s seduction of Callisto within the type of Diana grew to become a very talked-about lesbian topic. See, for example, Rubens’s Jupiter and Callisto, 1613.

34. Boisseron, 68.

35. Titian, as soon as once more, reversed the order of myths as informed within the Metamorphoses. The poesie assemble a sequential narrative by which Actaeon’s punishment precedes Callisto’s. He started Diana and Actaeon first, as {the catalogue} suggests; it was meant to be held on the left aspect of the pair, in order that the pairing conformed to the left-to-right sequence of textual content. The presence of a stag-hunt scene on the fountain in Diana and Callisto additionally serves as a recall of a previous incident. And as Mathias Wivel has already noticed, “Actaeon’s hound seems to reflect the one huddled among the many nymphs behind Diana in Callisto,” Titian: Love, Demise, Want, 160.

36. Perseus and Andromeda was the third poesia Titian painted, however its pairing was not resolved till The Rape of Europa was accomplished. As {the catalogue} notes, Perseus and Andromeda is a far much less assured composition than the opposite poesie, and it bears traces of much more intensive compositional modifications; see Lelia Packer, “Perseus and Andromeda,” in Titian: Love, Demise, Want, 134–45.

37. Natasha Seamen, “The Problematic Attract of Titian’s Poesie,” Hyperallergic, September 23, 2021,

38. David Rosand, “‘Most Musical of Mourners, Weep Once more!’: Titian’s Triumph of Marsyas,” Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics 17, no. 3 (2010): 17–43, 21.

39. Rebecca Zorach crucially factors out that the phrase utilized in Italian translations of Ovid to explain Callisto’s ethical stain, for example Lodovico Dolce’s 1553 translation, is macchia (“corpo macchiato”); the phrase carries deep resonance with Titian’s late approach, referred to as pittura di macchia. See “Despoiled on the Supply,” Artwork Historical past 22 (1999), 244–69, 262.  

40. In Apollodorus’s telling, the canine are lastly soothed when the centaur Chiron fashions for them an Actaeon-effigy.

41. Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse (New York: Primary Books, 2009), 260.

42. Kate Manne, Down Woman: The Logic of Misogyny (Oxford, UK: Oxford College Press, 2017), 30. The guide has a lot unexplored overlap with Yi-Fu Tuan’s traditional examine Dominance and Affection: The Making of Pets (New Haven: Yale College Press, 1984). Manne’s newer guide presses on with this analogy, evaluating misogyny to the “shock collar worn by a canine to maintain them behind [an] invisible fence.” See Kate Manne, Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Girls (New York: Penguin, 2020), 11.

43. Elizabeth Schambelan’s gorgeous latest evaluation of the retracted Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus” in relation to mythic story varieties and actual and mythic historic practices of male initiation involving “turning into a canine/wolf,” is a notable exception that’s deeply related to my evaluation right here. See “The League of Males,” n+1 28 (Spring 2017),

44. Nathaniel Silver, “The Rape of Europa,” in Titian: Love, Demise, Want, 168–75, 171.

45. Mary Reid Kelley in “The Bigger Dialog: Artistic Collision,” Isabella Stewart Garnder Museum, October 6, 2021, video, 55:10,

46. Jane C. Nash, Veiled Photographs: Titian’s Mythological Work for Philip II (Philadelphia: Artwork Alliance Press, 1985), 39.

47. Mary Beard, quoted in “Titian’s Girls: Europa, Andromeda and Past,” Isabella Stewart Garndner Museum, November 11, 2021, video, 81:29,

48. Agnolo Bronzino, “Del penello” (On the Paintbrush, 1538), as cited in Deborah Parker, “In the direction of a Studying of Bronzino’s Burlesque Poetry,” Renaissance Quarterly 50, no. 4 (Winter 1997): 1,011–44, 1,025.

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