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MIA scores a coup with Titian exhibit

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"Diana and Callisto" by Titian
Showing Titian's "Diana and Callisto," painted between 1556-1559, is a major coup for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The painting is just one of several on loan from the National Gallery of Scotland.
Image courtesy Minneapolis Institute of Arts

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts will host an exhibit of Venetian Renaissance paintings and drawings which have never been to the U.S. before. 

The exhibit, drawn from the collection of the National Gallery of Scotland, centers around work by the great Italian master Titian. 

MIA painting curator Patrick Noon says the centerpieces of the show are two large Titian depictions of the goddess Diana, which were  commissioned by King Phillip of Spain in the late 16th century.

"They are simply astonishingly beautiful and well-preserved pictures," Noon said. 

Noon says it is a rare opportunity to see great examples of the work of a Renaissance master.

"They haven't left the UK in decades, and they have never actually been seen in North America," said Noon. "For us it's particularly important becauseit's an area in our collection which is not very strong, so we are able to bring a fantastic group of Veneitain Renaissance paintings by the greatest masters of that particular school."

Noon says the exhibit of 12 paintings and 13 drawings will be a rare opportunity to see Titian's work, and how he influenced other major artists, including Tintoretto, Veronese, Bassano and Lotto -- whose work will also be part of the exhibit.   

The exhibit, "Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland," will be on display in February 2011.