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Past Exhibitions
La "Venere di Urbino": Mito e immagine di una Dea dall'antichità al Rinascimento

La "Venere di Urbino": Mito e immagine di una Dea dall'antichità al Rinascimento

4 March 2008 - 18 May 2008
National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
In cooperation with
the Ministero per I Beni e le Attività Culturali - Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze and the Yomiuri Shimbun
Exhibited works
34 paintings, 13 sculptures, 2 drawings, 19 works of applied art, 6 books, 2 other works, 76 works in total
Number of visitors

This exhibition displays various works on the theme of the goddess Venus, dating from antiquity through the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. The exhibition, with its selection of approximately 70 paintings, sculptures, and decorative art works, reveals how the myth of Venus stimulated and inspired the artists of antiquity. It will also consider ways in which the Venus iconography was revived and developed during the Renaissance resurrection of classical culture. Thanks to the full-hearted cooperation of the Florence Museums Association, we have been able to include the Venere di Urbino, a masterpiece by the major Venetian painter Titian, from the Uffizi Gallery. Images of Venus from other districts of Italy will also be displayed in this exhibition.

Venus, the goddess of beauty and love, was originally a goddess from the antique period. She features as one of the major figures in a number of myths, sometimes appearing with other gods and sometimes appearing alone. Venus’s son, Cupid, often appears at her side.

During the Renaissance period, the image of Venus was revived, as were images of other gods, as a motif used in various artistic media. Venus appeared as a featured motif in a variety of art works in line with the renewed interest in classical literature. Venus was seen as a modest image in philosophically-minded Florence, while imagery of a more carnal and sensuous Venus developed in Venice. A prime example of the Venetian form of Venice can be seen in the Venere di Urbino. We hope that visitors will enjoy this exhibition with its various moods and views of Venus by Titian, Bronzino, Pontormo and others.