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Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 - National Gallery

Metamorphosis: Titian 2012

Exhibition preview

METAMORPHOSIS: Titian 2012, a unique collaboration with The Royal Ballet, is on display in the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery until September 23, 2012.

This multi-arts project, part of the Cultural Olympiad’s London 2012 Festival draws on the powerful stories of change found in Titian’s masterpieces, revealing how these spectacular paintings continue to inspire living artists.

A multi-faceted experience celebrating British creativity across the arts, Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 brings together a group of specially commissioned works responding to three of Titian’s paintings – Diana and Actaeon, The Death of Actaeon and the recently acquired Diana and Callisto – which depict stories from Ovid’s epic poem Metamorphoses.

The three paintings, displayed at the heart of the exhibition, are seen together for the first time since the 18th century.

Contemporary artists Chris Ofili, Conrad Shawcross and Mark Wallinger have created new work for the exhibition. The display, which includes set designs and costumes for three new ballets at The Royal Opera House, reveals how they have responded to Titian’s masterpieces.

Top British choreographers, dancers and composers collaborated with the artists to create an evening of three new works, performed at The Royal Opera House by The Royal Ballet in July 2012.

Leading poets including Carol Ann Duffy, Seamus Heaney and Simon Armitage were commissioned by the National Gallery to respond to Ovid’s text and Titian’s paintings. Discover how they have been inspired in the accompanying publication Metamorphosis: Poems Inspired by Titian.

Roman poet Ovid’s (43 BC–17 AD) 15 book poem was written in Latin and features the story of Diana, which inspired Titian’s three great paintings.

Based on the theme of ‘change’ (‘Metamorphoses’ means ‘transformations’ in Greek), these mythical tales were as renowned in Titian’s day as Bible stories, and were a popular source of inspiration for many Renaissance artists.

Admission: Free.

The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

Tel: +44 (0)20 7747 2885