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The dying language of art

The painter Susannah Fiennes continues an occasional column in which she tells us what is happening in great paintings. This month, "Perseus and Andromeda" by Titian

By Susannah Fiennes   January 2000

Perseus and andromeda at the Wallace Collection in London may not be considered one of Titian’s finest works. But it provides a good case study in how to use an abstract pictorial language to dramatise a story. The saga of Perseus’s rescue of Andromeda from the sea monster, on condition that she will be his bride, offered Titian the opportunity of painting the female nude in a dramatic setting. With geometry and colour he defines the relationship between the three characters and creates a theatrical illusion of light and space on the flat surface of the rectangle.

The curtain opens,…

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