Titian: Love, Desire, Death

Monday 7th September 6pm

Recently Titian's extraordinary series of mythological masterpieces were reunited for the first time in over four hundred years. This historic exhibition returns with the reopening of the National Gallery and our online introduction to the exhibition will allow you to explore the works in detail.

Titian’s meeting with the future King of Spain, Philip II, resulted in one of the greatest commissions of the 16th century, a series of mythological ‘poesie’ as Titian described  them, in other words paintings that would be the visual equivalents of poetry. What was required was something grand on a classical theme but something which would also appeal to the personal tastes of the King and his predilection for sensual subject matter. Diana and Actaeon, Diana and Callisto, Danaë, Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Europa and Perseus and Andromeda were a perfect choice since they drew on classical literary sources, emphasizing the patron’s erudition, but also addressed themes of seduction, love, violence and drama.

Our introductory lecture is given by National Gallery lecturer and Renaissance specialist Siân Walters. Siân will examine the works' genesis and evolution, discussing Titian's radical technique and approach to story-telling. We will learn how the series was eventually dispersed and how the paintings became the property of a number of illustrious collectors, including the Queen of Sweden, the Duke of Orleans, Richard Wallace and Anthony van Dyck. We also learn how these masterpieces continued to exert a powerful force on generations of painters, from Rubens and Velázquez to Lucian Freud.

This is a live lecture which will be given by Siân Walters at 6.00pm BST (British Summer Time).  Tune in from anywhere in the world to watch or enjoy a recorded version of the lecture which can be accessed for up to 24 hours afterwards.

The lecture will last one hour and will be followed by questions which Siân will answer live.


Further Information


1. BOOK.

Click on the gold “Book This Course/Event” button on the right hand side now, fill in the online booking form and pay online. Please use a UK account/card (if you are paying using a non-UK account/card please email us to arrange alternative payment methods). You will be notified automatically by email once your booking has been accepted.

The participation fee is £10 per person, if making bookings for a number of people please provide their email addresses when booking them as separate participants.


Download ZOOM once you have booked - please print/download the instructions in this downloadable link and read them carefully. 


You will receive an email at least 24 hours before the lecture asking you to register.** This is a privacy function enabling only registered participants to attend. After registering you will immediately receive the log in link to the lecture.

** Please note that these details are sent out in office hours, so if you book on a weekend you may not receive them until Monday. You must register with the same name that you have booked under and at least 45 minutes before the lecture begins, otherwise you may not be able to watch. If you have not received your email confirmations, please check your ‘deleted items' and 'junk mail' folders.


Join the lecture at least ten minutes before it is scheduled to start, to ensure everything is working.

If you are not able to watch the lecture at the time it is live-streamed, you can still book online, as above. You will be contacted after the lecture has been broadcast with instructions on how to access the recorded lecture, for up to 24 hours afterwards.You do not need to advise us if you can't participate live, don't worry!

Bookings close the day before the lecture is streamed.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for booking this event. We regret that we are unable to offer technical support with Zoom but tips can be found in the attachment. If you would like to book more than one event, please book separately for each lecture that you would like to attend, thank you. If you are booking for more than one person, it is important that you include their email address so that we can send them the lecture link too. We regret we are unable to offer refunds but don't worry if you are not able to attend, as we will send you the recorded lecture link.

Image - Titian, The Rape of Europa © Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston


  • Introduction to Titian exhibition at the National Gallery
  • Online, live lecture
  • Viewable from anywhere in the world
  • Live Q&A afterwards


  • Price: £10.00
  • Venue: See Further Information
  • Lecturer: Siân Walters


Booking is now closed.

If you have any questions regarding the course or booking please send us an email or
call on +44 (0)1932 267322

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