The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) and the National Gallery, London (NGL) have announced that Titian’s painting ‘Diana and Actaeon’ has been acquired for the nation from the Duke of Sutherland.
The acquisition has been made possible with the generous contributions from private and public donations, including the Scottish Government, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Monument Trust, The Art Fund charity and NGL and NGS funds.
The painting will be shared by the National Galleries of Scotland and National Gallery, London and will be displayed for 5 years at each institution in turn.
Diana and Actaeon is one of six large-scale mythologies inspired by the Roman poet Ovid that Titian painted for King Philip II of Spain. Titian began the picture and its companion Diana and Callisto in 1556, the year of Philip’s coronation. Spurred on by the prestige of royal patronage, he unleashed all his creativity to produce works of unprecedented beauty and inventiveness.
Titian worked for three years to perfect these masterpieces, which were shipped to Spain in 1559. He claimed their lengthy genesis was due to the relentless pains he took to make sumptuous works of art worthy of the king.
The National Galleries of Scotland have also received assurances that the rest of the Bridgewater Collection will remain on loan to them for the next 21 years. The Galleries have also been granted the opportunity to buy a second painting - Diana and Callisto - for a similar amount by 2012.
Diana and Actaeon, 1556-59, Titian, Oil on canvas: 184.5 x 202.2 cm, Acquired jointly by the National Gallery London and the National Galleries of Scotland with the generous assistance of Scottish Government, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Monument Trust, The Art Fund and through public appeal 2008.
Diana and Callisto, 1556-59TitianOil on canvas: 187.0 x 204.5 cmNational Galleries of Scotland; Bridgewater Collection Loan 1945