Anyone feeling slightly dazed by the eclectic nature of the Cultural Olympiad should head straight for the National Gallery in London, where the opportunity to see Titian’s three masterpieces-Diana and Actaeon, The Death of Actaeon and Diana and Callisto-hanging together is undoubtedly the star attraction of the entire jamboree.
Described by Lucian Freud as ‘quite simply the most beautiful pictures in the world’, these paintings, which were among Titian’s ‘Poesie’ series made for Philip II of Spain, form the centrepiece of ‘Metamorphosis Titian 2012′ (until September 23), a collaboration between the Royal Ballet, composers, librettists, poets and visual artists.
Three new ballets, costumes, sets, artworks and poems have been conceived in response to the 16th-century masterpieces and Ovid’s epic Metamorphoses that inspired them. Three contemporary visual artists have also explored their themes with differing results-Mark Wallinger’s freestanding bathroom complete with living Dianas spied upon through peepholes being the wittiest and most popular, if the least profound.
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