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This picture was given its title after Turner's death. The pose of the Venus recalls the work of the great Venetian painter Titian (circa 1487-1576), whose pictures Turner studied closely in the early 1800s. Apart from the bearing this fact has on our view of how Turner's style developed, it is also an apt reminder of how Renaissance artists, Titian especially, explored the classical world and reinvigorated, on canvas, the ancient stories.

August 2004