Female Duality and Petrarchan Ideals in Titian's Sacred And Profane Love

by Kaercher, Julianne C.

Abstract (Summary)
Painted around 1514 in Venice, Titian's Sacred and Profane Love has long been the subject of debate in Art History. Building on previous scholarship, including work from Charles Hope, Walter Friedläender, and Rona Goffen, this essay looks into the triangulated relationship created between the two women and the viewer through real and implied gazes, and how this relationship addresses a specific patron's desire to self-fashion an identity that would be projected for a specific audience. Where previous scholars have argued that Niccolò Aurelio commissioned this painting as a wedding gift, this paper suggests a new reading of the commissioning in light of the female patron, Laura Bagarotto, and her desire to self-fashion an identity not only to her new husband, but also to the society in which she newly found herself a part. In addition to the discussion on patronage, this paper will use Petrarch's writings and influence as a frame for the examination of Titian's Sacred and Profane Love by exploring Petrarchan conceptions of the ideal woman and connecting the double figuration in the painting to Laura Bagarotto's dual roles as bride and widow. In so doing, this essay provides a new interpretation of the idealized renaissance female by drawing attention to the inherent duality of women, identified by Petrarch, as conflicting yet necessary female characteristics. Approaching this painting multi-dimensionally” looking at the influence of Petrarch, the social circumstances surrounding the commissioning, and examining other artistic representations of idealized women” it will be possible to question the assumed male patronage of the piece.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:titian sacred and profane love petrarch patronage


Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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