Titian’s Lady in White: A Renaissance Mystery

(Columbus, OH)  – Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) presents Titian’s Lady in White: A Renaissance Mystery August 31 – December 9, 2018. This year CMA marks 140 years since receiving the first museum charter in Ohio in 1878. As part of the celebrations, CMA partnered with the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and Skulpturensammlung (GAM) in our sister city of Dresden, Germany to bring Titian’s masterpiece Portrait of a Lady in White to Ohio. CMA’s collaboration with GAM encourages the international exchange of arts and culture, which leads to greater global understanding and empathy.

“We are thrilled to celebrate our 140th anniversary by bringing to Columbus a masterwork create by Titian,” said CMA Executive Director Nannette V. Maciejunes. “Our partnership with Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, from our sister city Dresden in Germany, is another example of how over the years the Museum has transformed the city of Columbus through creative experiences, engaged learning, and connectivity.”

Titian was an Italian painter considered by many to be the most important member of the 16th century Venetian school. One of the first artists to abandon wood panels in favor or canvas, he is also known as a father of modern painting. His use of color and loose brushwork profoundly influenced not only Italian Renaissance painters, but also future generations of Western European painters.

Mystery has always surrounded the identity of Titian’s Lady in White. Is she a secret lover? Is she the artist’s daughter, Lavinia? Is she an unrecorded noble? Is she an ideal vision of female beauty? Theories abound but the true identity of the Lady in White remains an enigma.

 In addition to the Lady in White, the exhibition includes baroque portraits from CMA’s collection that provide context for the Titian masterpiece such as Anthony van Dyck, Christian Bruce, Countess of Devonshire,” circa 1635 and John Michael Wright, Lady with a Theorbo, circa 1675. The exhibition also explores the extensive scientific examination and conservation work done through photography, X-ray imaging, and microscopically enlarged samples of pigment layers. Completed in 2010, the conservation of the Lady in White revealed the original brilliance of the white pigment used to for the Lady’s dress, which had been buried under yellowed varnish.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Support also provided by Dresden Sister City, Inc.

Related Program
A Renaissance Mystery: Guest Lecture featuring Dr. Stephan Koja
Thursday, September 6, 6:00 pm
Join CMA for a lecture featuring Dr. Stephan Koja, Director of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and Skulpturensammlung in Columbus’ sister city Dresden, Germany. At 6:00 pm, meet Dr. Koja in person at a special public reception welcoming him to CMA and to Columbus. At 7:00 pm, hear Dr. Koja discuss his museum and Titian’s Lady in White, a masterwork that the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and Skulpturensammlung has generously loaned CMA for a limited time. Cost of this program is $20 for nonmembers, $5 for members. To buy tickets, visit columbusmuseum.org and click on Events & Programs.

Columbus Museum of Art creates great experiences with great art for everyone. The Greater Columbus Arts Council, Nationwide Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, and the Henry D. and Carol B. Clark; Paul-Henri Bourguignon and Erika Bourguignon Fund for Visual Arts; Vada Beetler Memorial; and Robert B. Hurst funds of The Columbus Foundation provide ongoing support. CMA, Schokko Art Café, and the Museum Store are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Thursday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. Museum admission is $14 for adults; $8 for seniors and students 6 and older; and free for members, children 5 and younger. Special exhibition admission fees may apply. General admission is free for all on Sunday. CMA charges a flat rate of $5 for parking in the Museum’s East Gay lot. CMA members park for free. For additional information, call 614.221.6801 or visit www.columbusmuseum.org.

Media Contact: Melissa Ferguson, melissa.ferguson@cmaohio.org, 614.629.0306

Image: Titian, Portrait of a Lady in White, c. 1555. Oil on canvas. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden