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Aurora and Tithonus

Image credit: Ferens Art Gallery

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Pictures of this type were popular in Venice in the early 18th century, [...] the emphasis was always on the composition, drawing and colour, at the expense of a deep appreciation of the subject matter. Such pictures anticipate the later achievement of Francesco Guardi, of whose work the Ferens has one piece of a much larger decorative cycle.

The first love of Aurora and Tithonius is described in the Homeric Hymn (v. 227). They were married, but while Tithonius was asleep Aurora crept away to join the much younger Cephalus. This painting shows Aurora and Tithonius while their love was still at its height, as the inclusion of cupid reveals (Wright, 2002, p. 101).

Ferens Art Gallery

Kingston upon Hull


Aurora and Tithonus




oil on canvas


H 107 x W 81 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by William Walker of North Cliff, 1940.

Work type



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Ferens Art Gallery

Queen Victoria Square, Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire HU1 3RA England

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