No Passport Required
Masterworks of the Renaissance headed to MFAH on first U.S. tour
Seeing great works of art from the Italian Renaissance usually requires a passport, a long plane ride and plenty of patience.
Thanks to some nimble international negotiating from Houston's Museum of Fine Arts - and a groundbreaking cross-continental collaboration - that is going to change.
Two of the most illustrious masterworks of the Italian Renaissance - Titian's Diana and Actaeon and his Diana and Callisto - are headed to MFAH on their first ever trip to America.
Titian is uniformly considered the best Renaissance painter from the Venetian school and these are considered two of the greatest works of the entire Italian Renaissance. Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto will anchor the touring exhibition "Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland."
The show will head to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts before stopping at the MFAH in May 2011.
"This exhibition will give U.S. audiences the opportunity to experience some of the greatest accomplishments of Renaissance Venice," MFAH director Peter Marzio said. "The MFAH is privileged to be part of this unprecedented international collaboration, and enormously pleased to further our mission of making great art accessible to a broad public."
In addition to Titian's twin Diana showstoppers, the exhibit will also feature his Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist and Venus Rising from the Sea, Lorenzo Lotto’s Virgin and Child with Saints, Jacopo Tintoretto’s Christ Carried to the Tomb, Jacopo Bassano’s Adoration of the Magi and five other Italian Renaissance paintings, as well as 13 drawings from the same masters.
Titian’s Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto were part of a series of six images from Greek and Roman mythology painted for King Philip II of Spain between 1556 and 1559, during the height of Titian’s career. They were acquired by the London Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland for $71 million each in February 2009, amidst controversy due to the high purchase price in a time of recession.
The National Galleries of Scotland does not usually make works of this magnitude available for a tour. You will not be able to see them in New York City. Not in Chicago. Not in Dallas. Houston's one of the selected few.