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This work, with its pendant Diana and Callisto, is one of the most celebrated and admired paintings in the European tradition.
Diana and Actaeon by Titian, circa 1556-1559
Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland
- Oil on canvas Dimensions: 184.5 x 202cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £1,150,000 ( Total: £50,000,000; Tax remission)
- Acquired in:
- Duke of Sutherland
It has influenced the work of generations of high-profile artists, from Velázquez and Rubens to Turner and Constable down to Lucian Freud today. The fable of Diana and Actaeon is recounted by Ovid where the young huntsman Actaeon unwittingly came upon Diana and her nymphs bathing naked. Diana exacts a terrible revenge on the innocent Actaeon by transforming him into a stag, who is then devoured by his own loyal hunting dogs. This work was jointly acquired by the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery, London with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation and will be paid by the Art Fund in three tranches of £383,333 starting in 2009.
Painted for Philip II, King of Spain; by descent to Philip V; presented to 4th Duc de Gramont, French Ambassador to the Spanish court, 1704; presented to Philippe, 2nd Duc d'Orléans, circa 1706-8; by descent to Louis-Philippe-Joseph, Duc d'Orléans; Édouard Walckiers, 1792; François-Louis-Joseph de Laborde-Méréville, Paris, 1792; Jeremiah Harman, 1793; Michael Bryan, 1798, acting on behalf of a syndicate consisting of 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, Earl Gower (later 2nd Marquess of Stafford and 1st Duke of Sutherland) and 5th Earl of Carlisle; reserved by the Duke of Bridgewater; bequeathed to Lord Gower, 1803; bequeathed to Lord Francis Egerton, 1833; by descent to 5th Earl of Ellesmere, from 1963 6th Duke of Sutherland; bequeathed to 7th Duke of Sutherland in 2000. On loan to the National Gallery of Scotland since 1945.