Cover image for Titian's women
Titian's women
Goffen, Rona, 1944-2004.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, [1997]

Physical Description:
ix, 342 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 32 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND623.T7 G56 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Examining Titian's fascination with the theme of the beautiful woman, this text offers an interpretation of the artist's secular paintings of women and sets them in the context of life in 16th-century Venice. It aims to show how female images relate to Titian's concern with larger themes in life.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The genius of this book lies in the choice of its subject matter. In five substantial chapters Goffen (Rutgers Univ.) investigates the roles played by women in Titian's art: as wives, mothers, and daughters; as religious figures, mythological goddesses, and paragons of beauty. Women, real and imaginary, religious and secular, are the subject of this handsome and profusely illustrated volume. Goffen offers a corrective to recent anachronistic tendencies to view Titian's women through modern eyes and sensibilities. She attempts to understand these pictures in relation to 16th-century literature, tastes, and society. Without denying the erotic appeal of Titian's women, Goffen argues that such a narrow perception diminishes Titian's achievement and fundamentally confuses a modern response with a more nuanced and historically informed view of the purpose and appeal of these pictures. Issues of gender, sexuality, style, and contemporary debates regarding the paragone (comparison of the arts), as well as the role, position, and gender of spectator and patron, are recurring themes throughout the book. Scholars may take issue with some of Goffen's interpretations, but equally they will find much to provoke thought and visual delectation. Upper-division undergraduate; graduate; faculty. W. E. Wallace Washington University