Sacred and Profane Love

Titian: Sacred and Profane Love

Dr. Francis P. DeStefano

Titian’s “Sacred and Profane Love” is perhaps the most spectacular work of art in the great collection of the Borghese Gallery in Rome. Early in the last century a collector offered more for this one painting than the appraised value of the entire Museum. It measures over nine feet long and seems to take up an entire wall in one of the largest rooms. Like many other famous paintings of the Venetian Renaissance the subject matter of the “Sacred and Profane Love” remains a mystery.

In a 2003 Titian exhibition catalog David Jaffe noted the paucity of information.

Early descriptions of this painting, one of Titian’s most enigmatic works, give little indication of its meaning or function. In 1648 Ridolfi described it as ‘two women beside a fountain in which a putto looks at himself;’ its current, misleading title is first recorded in 1693…. It has been established that the patron was Niccolo Aurelio (1453-1535), whose coat of arms appears on the fountain. He was a prominent cittadino (the rank below patrician or noble) of Venice, who married a wealthy widow from Padua, Laura Bagarotto, in May 1514. The diarist Marin Sanudo suggests that the union raised eyebrows, no doubt because Laura’s father, and probably also her husband, had been executed by the Venetian state for treason in 1509….[i]

Four years later Peter Humfrey reflected current scholarly uncertainty with a very qualified description of the painting:

its conventional title is only a nickname, but it is probably accurate that the picture almost certainly comprises an allegory of two antithetical but complementary aspects of sexual love.…the figures consist of a woman wearing a magnificent robe of lilac silk, with rich accoutrements, and a female nude whose sensuous beauty is enhanced by the equally magnificent cloak of red silk that billows beside her.[ii]

He added that the figures were “locked together by the central sarcophagus-cum-fountain” and that the mysterious relief on the sarcophagus must be “Titian’s own invention.”

Most commentators have noticed the resemblance of the two women in the painting. Almost 75 years ago Erwin Panofsky remarked that they looked like sisters and identified them as two versions of a Neo-Platonic Venus.[iii] Another scholar thought that the two women looked like twins observing quite correctly that despite the difference in attire, they shared the same physical characteristics: reddish-blonde hair, snow white skin, rosy complexion, arched eyebrows, and blue-green almond shaped eyes.[iv]









Panofsky found the source of the painting in Neo-Platonic humanism, and pointed out that the nude represented a higher order of being.

In fact the title of Titian’s composition should read: Geminae Veneres. It represents the ‘Twin Venuses’ in the Ficinian sense and with all the Ficinian implications. The nude figure is the ‘Venere Celeste’ symbolizing the principle of universal and eternal but purely intelligible beauty. The other is the ‘Venere Volgare,’ symbolizing the ‘generative force’ that creates the perishable but visible and tangible images of Beauty on earth;…Both are therefore, as Ficino expressed it, ‘honourable and praiseworthy in their own way.’[v]

Panofsky saw Cupid stirring the water in Titian’s fountain and identified it as “an ancient sarcophagus, originally destined to hold a corpse but now converted into a spring of life.” He did not identify the figures on the relief.

In 1978 David Rosand elaborated on Panofsky’s interpretation of the twin Venuses.

The more exalted Venus is nude–heavenly beauty needs no material adornment–and stands higher in the field, framed against the background sky…in contrast, her more earthly sister is solidly seated and hence actually on a lower level, more immediately enclosed by nature. She is sumptuously dressed in the material splendor of this world, and her attributes pertain to sanctioned human love: the myrtle she holds symbolizes the lasting happiness of marriage.[vi]

However, the 2003 exhibition catalog noted recent scholarly disagreement.

That the painting reflects Neo-Platonic theories of ‘sacred’ and ‘profane’ love is untenable. Titian was not versed in such matters, and there is no precedent for the representation of such ideas in Venetian painting… there is nothing didactic about the painting, which is, rather, intensely private in nature.[vii]

Perhaps the lack of images was one of the reasons that led Rona Goffen to downplay the two Venus hypothesis and argue that the marriage in 1514 of Niccolo Aurelio, the Grand Chancellor of Venice, and Laura Bagarotto, a Paduan widow, held the key to the painting. In the nineteenth century Aurelio’s coat of arms was identified on the sarcophagus and modern scholars have tended to see a connection between the painting and the marriage.

Goffen insisted that while it would have been unsuitable to portray Laura Bagarotto or any bride as either one of the women, the painting is still primarily concerned with “the reality and the ideality of women in marriage…” The garments of the clothed woman, she wrote,

have been recognized as the traditional dress of a Venetian (and Paduan) bride; white gown, belt, gloves, roses, the myrtle wreath (myrtus coniugalis), and hair loose on the shoulders.…In this case, the bride’s white gown has a red sleeve, red being another bridal color in Renaissance Venice, though it may also be intended to identify her as a widow.[viii]

She believed that Titian was depicting a new concept in which men would find sensual pleasure inside the marital state with their wives, not outside with courtesans or mistresses. According to Goffen, Titian “appreciated the coincidence of chastity and sexuality: they are not antagonistic but sympathetic aspects of her [the bride’s] character….”[ix]

Finally, Goffen saw the two women as one woman in two guises, “embodying two aspects of herself:”

in the visual tradition, when two figures look alike, they in fact represent the same person, usually in different moments of a narrative, sometimes in different conditions or states of being….The representation of red and white, and the juxtaposition of their attributes seem to confirm the single identity of the two women, figured as bride and as wife.[x]

I agree with Goffen that Titian followed the “visual tradition” and chose to paint only one woman in two separate guises. However, the only person who could be portrayed at the same time as a well dressed, even sumptuously dressed woman, and as a semi-nude figure is Mary Magdalen, whose perceived life was the epitome of sexuality and chastity. Once we can see the two women as the Magdalen, all the other features of the painting fall into place.

Aside from the Madonna, Mary Magdalen was the most popular female saint of the Middle Ages. If anything, her popularity only increased during the Renaissance. Writing in the 19th century Anna Jameson noted,

it is difficult for us in these days, to conceive, far more difficult to sympathize with, the passionate admiration and devotion with which she was regarded by her votaries in the Middle Ages. The imputed sinfulness of her life only brought her nearer to them.[xi]

Recent studies share Mrs. Jameson’s view of the importance of Mary Magdalen in the life and art of the Renaissance. In 2000 Katherine Ludwig Jansen wrote,

the Magdalen now found herself at the head of the celestial choir of virgins in the litany of saints, and again among the virginal saints as naming practices in Tuscany reveal….Her recuperated virginity signaled fertility; as such, she was invoked as mother, and called upon to intervene in cases of conception, gestation, labor, and delivery, to say nothing of protecting newborn children and expectant mothers.[xii]

In her study of the Magdalen Susan Haskins noted that Venice “had a long established tradition of venerating the penitent saint….”[xiii] In Venice fervent religious devotion went hand in hand with the largest concentration of prostitutes in Europe.  Rona Goffen pointed out that,

Churches, monasteries of nuns, and hospices for repentant (or at least retired) prostitutes were commonly dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalen, including the mid-sixteenth century foundation of the church and hospice of the Magdalen in Venice, called Le Convertite. [xiv]

The interest in Mary Magdalen naturally found its way into art. In her own inimitable way, Mrs. Jameson pointed out that each region and era had its own particular style.

We have Magdalenes who look as if they never could have sinned, and others who look as if they never could have repented; we have Venetian Magdalenes with the air of courtesans, and Florentine Magdalenes with the air of Ariadnes; and Bolognese Magdalenes like sentimental Niobes; and French Magdalenes, moitie galantes, moitie devotes; and Dutch Magdalenes, who wring their hands like repentant washerwomen. The Magdalenes of Rubens remind us of the ‘unfortunate Miss Bailey’; and the Magdalenes of Vandyck are fine ladies who have turned Methodists.[xv]

Jameson’s criticism of the Venetian style is very pertinent. Among the many different ways to treat the Magdalen one is as a richly attired and seductive courtesan contemplating the folly of her life and considering the opportunity that had been opened up to her by the words of Jesus to sin no more.  Bernardino Luini, a contemporary of the young Titian, liked to portray her in this manner either alone or with her plainly dressed sister Martha. Later, both Caravaggio and Georges de La Tour would also depict contemplative well dressed Magdalens.

Bernardo Luini: Martha and Mary

Equal in importance would be her depiction as a semi-nude penitent sinner fasting and mortifying herself in a desert. Donatello’s wooden statue is the most famous fifteenth century version of the penitent Magdalen. She is gaunt and haggard, covered almost entirely by the long hair that reaches to her ankles. Early in the next century Quentin Massys could still depict a similar looking Magdalen along with Mary of Egypt, another penitential desert saint.

Donatello: Penitent Magdalen

However, in the 16th century artists tended to merge both versions of the Magdalen together. It would appear that Renaissance patrons would have none of these gaunt, haggard images and demanded more beautiful Magdalens. She would still be seen with the vestiges of her finery but at the same time tearful, sorrowful, and disheveled with breasts fully or partially exposed.

Correggio painted her in this manner as did the contemporary Milanese painter styled “Giampietrino” (identified today as Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli, a follower of Leonardo da Vinci). In his study of Titian’s early career, Paul Joannides noted that Titian painted a “Bust of a Young Woman”, now in the Norton Simon Foundation in Pasadena, that “is often thought to be a portrait of a courtesan,” and that it showed “an obvious link of mood and gesture with Giorgione’s Laura.” Joannides speculated that this early Titian woman might actually be Mary Magdalen.

Perhaps more likely is that she is a Magdalene in a Mary and Martha, the subject represented in Milan in the work of Bernardino Luini and his circle and one that would certainly have appealed to Titian, allowing him to contrast female types. But without further evidence no suggestion can be more than speculative.[xvi]


Titian: Courtesan

Joannides was certainly correct to see he resemblance of Titian’s early “courtesan” to Giorgione’s “Laura.” Despite the almost unanimous opinion of contemporary scholarship, the “Laura” could very well be Mary Magdalen. In Giorgione’s painting the young woman wears a courtesan’s robe but it has parted to reveal her breast. However, her white rolled up veil is a symbol of a virtuous woman and the laurel leaves behind her are a symbol of marital fidelity. [xvii]

Giorgione: Laura

Ultimately, Titian became the most prolific and famous painter of Mary Magdalens. His half-length depictions of a beautiful, full-figured semi-nude show her long red hair around her body but parted to reveal bared breasts. She looks upward with her jar of ointment beside her. The words of Susan Haskins are especially relevant considering the way in which Titian was able to combine the courtesan with the penitent prostitute.

In sixteenth-century Venice, the name of the Magdalen became synonymous with the feminine sex at two distinct social levels of purchased sex: at the superior stratum that of the courtesan…her link was a literary one in a period when…women’s beauty, love and sexuality were lauded. But at the lower level, that of the common prostitute, she represented…the model of repentance and conversion.[xviii]


Titian: Mary Magdalen

Titian’s famous Magdalens were all completed after the “Sacred and Profane Love.” In this early rendition he separated the Magdalen into her two guises. The clothed woman is the courtesan contemplating the error of her ways. The semi-nude woman is the newly converted Magdalen who, according to the apocryphal legends, would spend the last 30 years of her life fasting and mortifying herself in a desert outside of Marseilles.

Rona Goffen believed that the clothed woman in the “Sacred and Profane Love” was a bride attired in what could have been Laura Bagarotto’s own wedding gown, but she did point out that the woman could also be a splendidly dressed seductress.

Although the bride’s attire is appropriate for a wedding, the folds and fabric of the gown are exploited to emphasize the sensuality of the figure. Such sartorial eroticism may have been an innovation for bridal imagery, one perhaps more commonly associated with pictures of the “other woman,” such as Palma’s composition of c. 1515 in Vienna.[xix]

Courtesans were noted for their sumptuous attire and Venetian moralists complained that married women in their finery were often indistinguishable from courtesans.

We notice the woman’s beautiful red hair. Mary Magdalen was usually depicted as fair-haired. We see the same flowing red hair in Titian’s many other Magdalens, as well as in the “Noli Me Tangere.” The red color of her sleeve is also an attribute. Her right hand holds a sprig of wild rose, another symbol of the Magdalen. Her left hand rests on a container that could hold her jewels and perfumes. Both hands are gloved. Mary Magdalen was the patroness of all those engaged in producing female luxury items such as perfumes and gloves.

Finally, there is her pose and posture. Some believe that she is looking at the viewer but to me she seems to stare off into the distance rapt in contemplation of a life changing decision. If the painting was hung high on the wall as it is in the Borghese, it would be even more difficult for the observer to make eye contact. Goffen also believed that the seated woman’s spread legs are sensual and erotic–something that would also fit this most famous seducer of men. Personally, I can’t see it and it appears to me that she is about to fall to her knees.

On the right we see the semi-nude penitent Magdalen of the apocryphal legends. Much later in his life Titian joked of his Magdalens that he liked to portray them at the beginning of their fasting rather than as thin, wasted figures. Joking aside, in the “Sacred and Profane Love” Titian could actually be portraying the moment of conversion.

In representing the Magdalen as a beautiful young woman, the artist was also reflecting the desires of his wealthy Venetian patrons. In 1531 Titian received a request from Duke Federico Gonzaga of Mantua for a Magdalen that he could use as a gift for a friend.

I would like you to make me a St. Magdalen, as lachrymose as can be…and that you make every effort to make it beautiful, which for you will not be remarkable as you cannot do otherwise, when you really want to…I wish to send it to be given to the most illustrious Lord Marchese del Guasto [del Vasto]…making it so that it appears an honorable gift, being sent by me to a Lord such as that marchese…[xx]

The semi-nude, converted sinner in the “Sacred and Profane Love” has the same flowing red hair as well as the red and white apparel of the courtesan. Moreover, scholars have wondered why the clothing and appearance of this figure seem so much like the Magdalen in the “Noli Me Tangere”. Unlike the courtesan she does not hold the nearby plate that is now devoid of her jewelry.

Finally, in her left hand she holds aloft the jar of oil that is the single most recognizable symbol of Mary Magdalen. Anna Jameson noted that practically every depiction of her includes this element.

In all these subjects the accompanying attribute is the alabaster box of ointment, which has a double significance; it may be the perfume which she poured over the feet of the Saviour, or the balm and spices with which she had prepared to anoint the body. Sometimes she carries it in her hand, sometimes it stands at her feet, or near her; frequently, in later pictures, it is borne by an attendant angel. The shape varies with the fancy of the artist…but always there—the symbol at once of her conversion and love, and so peculiar that it can leave no doubt of her identity. [xxi]

Both the Magdalens sit on a sarcophagus-like fountain that further serves to connect them. The wild rose bush in front is also a traditional symbol of Mary Magdalen. A sarcophagus-like fountain is a puzzle in itself but the relief has also eluded identification. Guesses have been made but in the 2003 exhibition catalog David Jaffe noted that the “significance or otherwise of the reliefs on this ‘fountain of Venus’ remains elusive…” [xxii]

There are three scenes on the relief and although they are somewhat obscured, we can now see that they deal with other great sinners. On the far right two nudes stand on each side of a tree. The figure on the left is Eve portrayed in her usual full frontal nudity. Adam is on the other side of the tree. To the left we see an act of murderous violence that must represent the story of Cain and Abel, the first incident of sin after the Fall.

On the other side of the relief we can plainly see a horse led by one man but the rider appears to be falling off. The fallen rider can only be St. Paul, one of the few sinners capable of being mentioned in the same breath as Mary Magdalen. In his letter to Timothy St. Paul called himself the greatest of sinners. Baldassar Castiglione compared the two sinners.

You must remember also that St. Mary Magdalen was forgiven many sins because she loved much, and that she, perhaps in no less grace than Saint Paul, was many times rapt to the third heaven by angelic love…[xxiii]

Anna Jameson provided an example of the relationship of Mary Magdalen and St. Paul in Raphael’s “St. Cecilia” now in the Pinocoteca Nazionale in Bologna.

[Mary Magdalen] stands on the left, St. Paul being on the right of the principal figure; they are here significant of the conversion of the man through power, of the woman through love, from a state of reprobation to a state of reconcilement and grace. St. Paul leans in deep meditation on his sword.[xxiv]


Raphael: St. Cecilia flanked by Paul and Mary Magdalen

This explanation of the relief brings up the question of why Titian deliberately chose to use a fountain that looked like a sarcophagus. What kind of a sarcophagus can it be that has a spigot through which water gushes freely? The angel (we can now call it an angel rather than a Cupid) stirring the waters reminds us of the Biblical pool of Bethesda but that story only reminds us of Baptism.

In Baptism the converted sinner is immersed in the waters and dies to sin. The waters are living and flowing, a sign of new life and regeneration. Writing of Eudes de Chateauroux, a 13th century cardinal-bishop and prolific theologian, Katherine Jansen pointed out that Eudes had compared the tears of Mary Magdalen to an “overflowing fountain in the middle of his Church in which sinners are able to wash away their sins.”

Eudes’ image of Mary Magdalen as a fountain, then, functioned similarly….Tears, of course, had functions other than liquefaction in the medieval symbolic economy. As Eudes implied in the passage cited above they also served as baptismal water washing away the stain of sin, and restoring the contrite weeper to the condition of purity and innocence.[xxv]

With the two figures and the centrally located sarcophagus done, we can complete the puzzle by filling in the landscape. On the left behind the seated courtesan the landscape is dark and surmounted by a city. In his study of Giovanni Bellini’s “St. Francis in the Desert,” John Fleming showed that the city in the background of that famous painting was a place of spiritual danger: a place deliberately left behind by the saint in the desert.[xxvi] In Titian’s painting the young rider on horseback gallops towards perdition.

It would appear that this motif was not uncommon. In the background of one of his versions of the Rest on the Flight into Egypt, Joachim Patenir depicted the city from which the Holy Family had fled under dark clouds that dissipated as they traveled away. I have argued elsewhere that the city in the background of Giorgione’s “Tempest” is also a place of danger both physical and spiritual.[xxvii]

There are also two unexplained rabbits in the left landscape. It could be that Titian just liked rabbits but rabbits were also symbols of lust and sensuality. However, the white rabbit pursued by a hound in the landscape behind the converted Magdalen is a symbol of chastity and purity.[xxviii] Later, Titian actually had the Madonna holding a white rabbit in the so-called “Madonna with the Rabbit” now in the Louvre.[xxix]

The landscape on the right is bright and peaceful. Sheep graze contentedly and there is a church in the background. What would a church be doing in a painting devoted to Venus?

No one wrote more on the “Sacred and Profane Love” than the late Rona Goffen. [xxx] She never saw Mary Magdalen in the painting but practically every argument she made about Titian’s later Magdalens could easily be applied to the “Sacred and Profane Love.” For example, Goffen stressed the modesty of the pudica pose of these Magdalens. Yet, about the nude in the “Sacred and Profane Love” she wrote,

as female nudes go, this one is modest; her sex is covered not by a coy gesture but by the unambivalent means of a white drapery. Moreover, her legs are firmly locked together,…purposefully unlike the parted thighs of the bride….there is nothing prurient about her presentation, and her turning away from us to glance at her counterpart underscores the nude’s purity.[xxxi]

Goffen absolved Titian of any intent to create a “lubricious” image in his later Magdalens. She pointed out that even though he and his patrons wanted beautiful images, their devotion to her as an intercessor was sincere.[xxxii] Indeed, Goffen noted that later in his life Titian admitted that he regarded the Magdalen as a personal intercessor.

Zanetti: Etching

The “Sacred and Profane Love” might not have been Titian’s first attempt to portray Mary Magdalen in her two guises. In 2001 Paul Joannides noticed the similarity of the painting to a lost fresco painted by Titian in 1509 in his collaboration with Giorgione on the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. However, he thought it was strange that Zanetti’s 17th century copies of the Fondaco figures were related to a depiction of Judith,

This seems to mean that the two figures, one certainly, the other probably, nude were placed above the Judith, and thus above the cornice. Zanetti’s wording is ambiguous since his print contains at least part of the second figure… If, however, the two women were placed directly above the Judith it is evident that significant figural decoration continued into the storey above her–if only in the center, of the façade–and it is probable that the figures embodied some meaning, since they would have been seen in conjunction with Judith. The nude, apparently pointing upwards, might have represented hope; the other, looking down perhaps to children, possibly Charity–but this is to reach the limits of the speculative.[xxxiii]

If the two women in the “Sacred and Profane Love” are seen as Mary Magdalen, there would be little need to speculate about the reason why one of the most famous woman of the Old Testament might have been placed below a famous one of the New Testament on the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Moreover, just like Mary Magdalen, Judith dressed herself in her most alluring garb in order to seduce her victim.

The two heads in Zanetti’s etching do resemble the two women in the “Sacred and Profane Love.”  It would certainly be interesting to speculate on the contribution of Giorgione and the Fondaco frescos to Titian’s painting. Giorgione did the section that faced the Canal but Titian did the section that faced the Merceria. In his study of Titian’s early years, Joannides argued that in 1508/9 the young Titian still was deficient in drawing skills. In that case it is hard to imagine him with the skill necessary for the intonaco work of a fresco cycle. Only Giorgione’s name was mentioned in the original contract, and it is quite possible that he was responsible for the entire iconographical scheme and the intonaco drawings.

Titian’s painting and the Fondaco figures might have had the same patron. The discovery of the coat of arms of Niccolo Aurelio on the sarcophagus/fountain in the 19th century definitely established the connection of that Venetian official to the “Sacred and Profane Love.” Aurelio, the son of famed humanist patron, Marco Aurelio, had attained the position of Grand Chancellor of Venice, the highest office a non-patrician could hold in Venice. According to Joannides, Niccolo Aurelio

was also involved, naturally, with the Serenissima’s artistic policies: he signed the payment order to Giorgione for the frescoes on the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. It could be that he had some responsibility for planning Giorgione’s (and Titian’s) schemes, but whether or not this is so, Niccolo must have been in contact with both Giorgione and Titian and would have been in a position to order works from them.[xxxiv]

Aurelio emblem above spigot.

Niccolo Aurelio married Laura Bagarotto in 1514 and if there was ever a sinner in need of repentance it was this widow from Padua. In 1509 her father, Bertuccio Bagarotto, a professor at the famed university of Padua, as well as her husband, Francisco Borromeo, had been accused of treason by the Venetian government for collaboration in the fall of Padua during the War of the League of Cambrai. The husband most likely died during the war and the father was hanged in the Piazza di San Marco, an execution that his wife and daughter were forced to witness. Laura’s goods, including her substantial dowry, were confiscated.

Subsequently, Laura campaigned for the restoration of the family’s good name as well as for the restoration of her dowry, estimated at 2000 ducats. Her marriage to Niccolo Aurelio in 1514 must have been an important step in her rehabilitation since her dowry was only restored the day before the marriage. Finally, in 1519 her deceased father’s name was also cleared.

Until recently it had been thought that Laura’s own coat of arms could be seen in the empty plate near the nude Woman. Goffen accepted the Aurelio-Bagarotto marriage as the occasion of the painting but believed that the painting could not be a portrait of Laura Bagarotto, since no bride would have been depicted in the same manner as either woman in the painting. Neither could it be a traditional marriage portrait since the husband was not included.

However, in his 2003 study Joannides indicated that a close examination of the painting had only revealed a “random group of lines” in the plate. He concluded:

This development has not yet been fully absorbed in the literature, but what it means is that there is no hard evidence that the painting was commissioned in connection with the marriage—although it might have been—no evidence that connects the painting either with the experience or the appearance of Laura Bagarotto…[xxxv]

Nevertheless, one would like to think that Niccolo was honoring his new wife, or seeking to aid in her rehabilitation with this painting. On her part, Laura Bagarotto, given the ups and downs of her own life, might have looked to the Magdalen as a patron. On that fateful day in 1509 she lost both her father and her patrimony. If she had not been a woman, she might even have lost her own life. Five years later her dowry was restored on the eve of her marriage to a prominent Venetian official. Eventually, she would provide the aging Niccolo with a beloved daughter and then a male heir. Who can doubt that she had prayed to the Magdalen, the patron saint of all women hoping for a family? ###

Francis P. DeStefano

Fairfield CT


[i] Titian, exh. cat. ed. David Jaffe, National Gallery, London, 2003, pp. 92-95.

[ii] Peter Humfrey: Titian, 2007, p. 47.

[iii] Erwin Panofsky: “The Neoplatonic Movement in Florence and Northern Italy (Bandinelli and Titian),” in Studies in Iconology, Naturalistic Themes in the Art of the Renaissance, Oxford, 1939, reprinted 1962, p. 152.

[iv] Julianne Kaercher: “Female Duality and Petrarchan Ideals in Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love,” unpublished M.A. thesis, Bowling Green State University, May 2009.

[v] Panofsky, op. cit. p. 152.

[vi] David Rosand, Titian, New York, 1978. p. 80.

[vii] David Jaffe ed. Titian, pp. 92-95. The catalog echoed the opinion of Charles Hope, Titian, London, 1980, p. 36.

[viii] Rona Goffen, “Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love and Marriage,” in The Expanding Discourse, Feminism and Art History, ed. Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard, NY, 1992, pp. 112-113.

[ix] Goffen, op.cit., pp.115-116.

[x] Goffen, ibid.

[xi] Anna Jameson: Sacred and Legendary Art, Boston, 1895, Vol. 1, p. 344.

[xii] Katherine Ludwig Jansen: The Making of the Magdalen, Preaching and Popular Devotion in the Later Middle Ages, Princeton, 2000, p. 306.

[xiii] Susan Haskins: Mary Magdalen, Myth and Metaphor, NY, 1994, p. 286.

[xiv] Rona Goffen, Titian’s Women, 1997, p. 185.

[xv] Jameson, op.cit. pp. 352-3.

[xvi] Paul Joannides, Titian to 1518, Yale, 2001. p. 96.

[xvii] For the veil and laurel see Sylvia Ferino-Pagden, and Giovanna Nepi-Scire, eds. Exh. Cat., Giorgione, Myth and Enigma, 2004, pp. 197-8. The catalog does not identify “Laura” as Mary Magdalen.

[xviii] Haskins, op.cit., p. 286.

[xix] Goffen, Titian’s Women, p. 39.

[xx] Goffen, Titian’s Women, p.181.

[xxi] Jameson, op.cit. p.347.

[xxii] Jaffe ed., Titian, p.94.

[xxiii] Quoted in Rona Goffen, Titian’s Women, p. 171.

[xxiv] Jameson, op. cit. p. 351.

[xxv] Jansen, op. cit. p. 211.

[xxvi] John V. Fleming, From Bonaventure to Bellini, an Essay in Franciscan Exegesis, Princeton, 1982, p.84 and passim.

[xxvii] Francis P. DeStefano, “Giorgione’s La Tempesta,” paper presented at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Venice on 4/9/2010. For the paper see

[xxviii] For rabbits see Lucia Impelluso, Nature and Its Symbols, Los Angeles, 2003, p. 238.

[xxix] The “Madonna with the Rabbit” is actually a depiction of the “Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine.”

[xxx] She published her original research in an article in 1992, and basically repeated it the next year in a collection entitled, “Titian 500”. Subsequently, Goffen’s research formed the basis of the section on the “Sacred and Profane Love” in her 1997 study, “Titian’s Women.”

[xxxi] Goffen, “Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love and Marriage,” op. cit. p. 114.

[xxxii] Goffen, Titian’s Women, pp. 172-181.

[xxxiii] Joannides, op. cit. 186.

[xxxiv] Joannides, op. cit. 186.

[xxxv] Joannides, op. cit. 187.

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