Artworks Influenced by "Venus of Urbino"

Topics: Pablo Picasso, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Diego Velázquez Pages: 4 (1290 words) Published: October 16, 2012
Compare and Contrast Paper.

Around the 1400s, a new artistic period flourished in Spain. This style was mainly distinguished because of its representation of drama and tension that also depicts a theme of spirituality and religion in art and literature.

Diego Velazquez was one of the most important painters of this time; he worked for King Philip IV. He was well-known for his detailed portrait paintings and he later influenced the artwork of the realist and the impressionist artists in Europe. “Venus at her Mirror” is a painting created by Diego Velazquez of the goddess Venus. Mainly influenced by the Titian’s “Venus of Urbino”, he painted her lying in a bed in a particularly sensual pose (1). Although this is a physically impossible position because of the angle she forms with her reflection, she is looking at herself in a mirror held by Cupid, her son the god of love. He is not painted as usual, with a bow and an arrow; instead, Diego Velazquez painted a ribbon that is supposed to represent a chain to bind the lovers. The composition was painted between 1647 and 1651 in canvas and oil. Although this painting might seem classical and run-of-the mill, it is actually this first nude painting to be created. During this time, nudes were extremely unusual because of the Spanish Inquisition. This composition utilizes shades of red, white and grey. The purpose of this painting, probably is not to represent a female nude or a portrait of Venus, it may be to symbolize self-absorbed beauty. Because the goddess has no other purpose in the painting than denote gorgeousness (2).

On the other hand, in 1814, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres painted the “Grand Odalisque”, also influenced by Titian’s “Venus of Urbino”. This is the painting that is usually credited with breaking the Neoclassicism period and opening the doors to Romanticism. The technique of this painting is oil and there is a strong Oriental influence to it (3). The composition represents an...
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