Between 1551 and 1562, Titian created a series of monumental paintings for King Philip II of Spain. Celebrated as landmarks of western painting, the six poesie — or painted poetries — envision epic stories from classical Antiquity. Titian reimagined these familiar tales and used his modern style of painting to shape the future of western art.
For the first time in over four centuries, Isabella Stewart Gardner’s fully restored Rape of Europa is reunited with its five illustrious companions in the exhibition’s finale and its only American venue on an international tour including to the National Gallery, London and the Museo del Prado, Madrid. This exhibition explores each painting's story, its drama, raw emotion, and complex consequences illustrated in each painting, reconsidering what the poesie meant in their own time and how they resonate now.
Two new works developed in response to Titian’s paintings are on view in both the Fenway Gallery and on the Museum’s Facade. In the Fenway Gallery, Artists-in-Residence Mary Reid Kelly and Patrick Kelley give voice to the central figure of the Gardner’s Titian painting: Europa. On the facade, Barbara Kruger’s Body Language uses a detail from Titian’s Diana and Actaeon to challenge dynamics of gender and power.
Honoring the many facets of Titian: Women, Myth and Power, Gift at the Gardner has curated this collection of books for all ages, Greeco-Roman inspired statuary, bespoke homeware, exquisite jewelry, and beautiful stationery.