To celebrate the commencement of Italy’s presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the Italian government is bringing to Washington’s National Gallery of Art, one of the most sensual paintings of the Italian Renaissance—Titian’s Danaë (1544–1545).

“We are very pleased to continue our excellent cooperation with a prestigious institution such as the National Gallery in Washington on the occasion of the presentation of Titian’s Danaë,” said the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Claudio Bisogniero. “We are particularly delighted that this exhibition will launch in the U.S. the Italian Presidency of the European Union, an important opportunity also to further strengthen the friendship between the two sides of the Atlantic.”

“The richness of the Gallery’s collection of Venetian 16th-century painting includes the largest holdings in the United States of works by Titian and his studio, with 13 paintings, eight prints, and two drawings,” said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. “We are most grateful for the generosity of the Capodimonte Museum in Naples and are pleased to present the Danae in such close proximity to other related works by Titian, celebrating the genius and legacy of one of the world’s most influential painters.”

The Danaë is one of several examples of the genre of erotic mythologies in Western art popularized by Titian. Two other examples of this genre by Titian from the Gallery’s permanent collection—Venus with a Mirror (c. 1555) and Venus and Adonis (c. 1560)—are also on view in the West Building, in gallery M-23.

“The Special Superintendency for Historic, Artistic and Ethno-anthropologic Properties of the City of Naples Museum Hub and the Palace of Caserta is particularly pleased to collaborate in this extraordinary event for promoting the excellence of Italian culture in the United States,” said Fabrizio Vona, superintendent, Cultural Heritage for the City and the Museums of Naples and the Royal Palace of Caserta.

 

The painting will be on loan from the Capodimonte Museum, Naples— and will be on view July 1 through November 2, 2014, in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art. Italy’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union runs from July 1 through December 31, 2014.