Thursday, January 30, 2014

Venus of Urbino by Titian

     As a class, we reviewed the 1538 oil painting by Titian called Venus of Urbino. We analyzed the painting by discussing what we physically saw when we first looked at the piece, our initial feelings, what grabbed our attention, and our conclusions about the artwork. In the foreground painting is a nude women laying on a couch with pillows, sheets, and a small dog. In the background of the painting are two women, where one appears to be kneeling and the other standing over her. This particular painting raises a lot of initial questions, for example, a viewer might ask who is that women? Who are the people in the background? What's the relationship between them? Venus of Urbino can have many interpretations, one being that the nude woman has a high social or monetary status, while in the background of the painting seems to be a display of power. This piece of work displays the oblivion people of power and wealth can have towards inequality or the mistreatment of others.
      It can be assumed that the women laying nude on the couch in the forefront of the painting is wealthy due to a number of things. The most obvious reason being that she's naked on a couch being painted, which isn't a normal day activity for most people, also taking notice to the women's size which could indicate she has access to food. The second reason being for the amount of color in the room show, especially red. Red cloth was usually only bought by the wealthy due to how expensive it is to dye cloth red in the first place. Another reason is the room she's in itself, its quite spacious and quite decorated, which indicates they had the funds or power to do so. When looking in the background it can be assumed that the women standing is also wealthy due to the amount of clothes she's wearing and the color of them. 
      The first thing we noticed as a class was the nude women laying on a couch with her head turned towards, and her eyes looking at you. Then in the background there are two women, one appears to be a darker women and she is on her knees. The other women is standing over her with her sleeves rolled up. Immediately you wonder what's going on in that scene. It can be interpreted that the standing woman is reprimanding the darker-skinned woman who is kneeling, while the nude women literally has her back turned towards what is happening. This is symbolic of a current issue where high and mighty individuals can be oblivious to the inequalities and mistreatment of people in the lower classes.
      Venus of Urbino is a definite example of the gap between monetary classes and people with power and those without money and power. The scene going on in the background shows a darker skinned women being punished with a wealthy nude women in the fore front not even paying any mind to it.

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