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In the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen at Windsor Castle

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609-64)

Sacred and Profane Love c. 1635

Coloured oil paints on paper | 21.6 x 29.5 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 903899

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A drawing of two women, one clothed, the other almost naked, sitting opposite one another on a sarcophagus, with a putto between them This is an adapted copy of Titian’s painting of 1514, in Rome since 1608 when it was bought by Scipione Borghese. Castiglione’s unease at drawing the nude highlights the inadequacies of his training. He also seems to misunderstand the contemporary debate about the relative merits of disegno (‘design’ or ‘drawing’) and colore – he took Titian’s colore to mean merely ‘colourful’, and transcribed the Venetian’s elegant modulation and saturation with almost random scribbles of colour.