Tiziano Vecellio (Titian) is one of the key figures in the history of Western Art. He grew up in the Italian town of Pieve di Cadone, leaving home at 10 years of age to study Art with Giovanni Bellini who taught him to paint figures in ideal settings.

Like other Renaissance painters Titian stressed the beauty and majesty of the human body which can be seen in Venus of Urbino.Venus is a symbol of sensual Renaissance beauty and Titian’s depiction shows the goddess of love as just that.Titian completed the oil painting in 1538 for the Duke of Camerino and is the first in a long series of Venuses, which Titian painted over the years.

Titian uses the figure of Venus to portray female sexuality. The woman is shown reclining with her hand curled into her body. She is not concerned with her nudity and it shows the new iconography Titian has created for the Goddess of Love.   Her enticing gaze draws us into the bedroom, allowing the viewer to witness her beauty.Titian shows us how the woman is using sexuality to captivate the viewer.

The Venus of Urbino has Titian’s trademark red-gold hair. He frequently uses the brownish orange colour as well as vigorous poses.The well-rounded figure wears a bracelet and earrings which reinforce her femininity. She is a symbol of beauty.   A little dog sleeps at Venus’ feet and is a symbol of fidelity and emotionalism while the servants in the background signify a steady household.
Unlike Titian’s earlier works, set in the outdoors, the Venus of urbino is set in a Venetian chamber with a dark interior hung with rich curtains that show her wealth and create a mood of aristocratic impersonality. Artists in the Renaissance period tried to recapture the spirit of Roman Art in their own works as well as religious subject matters.

Titian chose to depict this woman’s nudity in a way that was quite unusual, with some referring to it as a perfect expression of female beauty. Other than sexuality, the...