The National Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland Acquires Titian’s Diana and Callisto

The The National Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland have acquired Titian’s masterpiece, Diana and Callisto.

Titian, Diana and Callisto, 1556-9. © photo National Galleries of Scotland

Following the purchase of its companion painting Diana and Actaeon in 2009, this major acquisition ensures that these superlative works by Titian will remain together on public display. The paintings were part of the Bridgewater loan, one of the most important private collections of Old Master paintings in the world, owned by the Duke of Sutherland. It includes masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt and Poussin. The acquisition means that the Bridgewater loan will remain on view in the National Galleries of Scotland for another generation.

The two works join the already rich collection of Titian masterpieces at the National Gallery in London, establishing it as a world centre for the study of Venetian Renaissance painting.

Having raised £50 million to acquire ‘Diana and Actaeon’, the Galleries were given until December 2012 to find a similar amount for ‘Diana and Callisto’. The two institutions gratefully received exceptional contributions from individual donors and trusts including the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund and The Monument Trust.

The trustees of the National Gallery in London made the unprecedented decision to allocate a significant proportion of the Gallery’s reserves to the acquisition. This sum of £25 million principally represents legacies left by members of the public over many years and held by the Gallery for future picture purchases. A generous reduction in the asking price to £45million by the owner, the Duke of Sutherland and his family, also helped the Galleries to raise the required funds successfully.

‘Diana and Callisto’ will be on display until July when, together with ‘Diana and Actaeon’ it will be reunited with Titian’s third great late mythology, The Death of Actaeon, in Metamorphosis: Titian 2012. From 31 August 2013 ‘Diana and Callisto’ and ‘Diana and Actaeon’ will transfer to Scotland for 12 months. Following this both paintings will be shown together on a rotating basis in London and Edinburgh. –

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