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The nymph Callisto was the favourite of Diana, virgin goddess of the hunt. Jupiter, king of the gods, noticed her beauty and disguised himself to seduce her. Titian has painted the moment Diana forces Callisto to strip and bathe after hunting and discovers her pregnancy. The drama is heightened by Titian’s free and expressive brushwork. The contours of the figures dissolve as the thinnest of dragged brushstrokes are swept over the surface of the canvas, contributing to the sense of dynamism and movement.
Oil on canvas
H 187 x W 204.5 cm
Bought jointly by the National Gallery and National Galleries of Scotland with contributions from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation), The Monument Trust, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, Mr and Mrs James Kirkman, Sarah and David Kowitz, Chris Rokos, The Rothschild Foundation, Sir Siegmund Warburg's Voluntary Settlement, and through private appeal and bequests, 2012