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Sleeping Venus (Giorgione)

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Sleeping Venus (Giorgione)

Sleeping Venus
Artist Giorgione, Titian
Year c. 1510
Type Oil on canvas
Dimensions 108.5 cm × 175 cm (42.7 in × 69 in)
Location Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden

The Sleeping Venus, also known as the Dresden Venus, is a painting by the Vasari first noted.[1] It is in the Gemäldegalerie, Dresden.

The painting, one of the last works by Giorgione, portrays a nude woman whose profile seems to follow that of the hills in the background. Giorgione put a great deal of effort into painting the background details and shadows. The choice of a nude woman marked a revolution in art, and is considered by some authorities one of the starting points of modern art. The painting was unfinished at the time of his death. The landscape and sky were later finished by Titian, who later painted the similar Venus of Urbino.

Underlying erotic implications are made by Venus's raised arm and the placement of her left hand on her groin. The sheets are painted in silver, being a cold colour rather than the more commonly used warm tones for linens, and they are rigid looking in comparison to those depicted in similar paintings by Titian or Velázquez. The landscape mimics the curves of the woman's body and this, in turn, relates the human body back to being a natural, organic object.

In his monograph of Renaissance art, Sydney Freedberg writes:

The shape of being is the visual demonstration of a state of being in which idealized existence is suspended in immutable slow-breathing harmony. All the sensuality has been distilled off from this sensuous presence, and all incitement; Venus denotes not the act of love but the recollection of it. The perfect embodiment of Giorgione's dream, she dreams his dream herself.[2]

The pose of the figure has been connected with a figure in one of the Pardo Venus and Venus of Urbino of Titian, the somewhat censored Rokeby Venus of Velázquez, Goya's teasing La maja desnuda, and Olympia by Manet, and other works by Ingres and Rubens, to name but a few.

Reclining Venus in Western Art (1520–1900)
Girolamo da Treviso, 1520
Titian, 1538
Bordone, 1540
Annibale Carracci, 1602
Artemisia Gentileschi, 1625
Reni, 1639
Velázquez, c. 1650
Cabanel, 1863
Manet, 1863


  • Early Life 1
  • Overview of the Salem Witch Trials 2
  • The Salem Witch Trials 3
  • Life after the Trials 4
  • Appearances in fiction and films 5
    • The Crucible 5.1
  • References 6


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Brooks, Rebecca B. Elizabeth Parris: First Afflicted Girl of the Salem Witch Trials. June 10, 2013. Profile],; accessed December 23, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Profile,; accessed December 23, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Gragg, Larry. A Quest for Security: The Live of Samuel Parris 1653-1720. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., 1990.
  4. ^ a b c d e Linder, Douglas. The Witchcraft Trials in Salem: A Commentary,; accessed November 29, 2014.
  5. ^ Salem Witch Trials,; accessed December 23, 2014.
  6. ^
  7. ^ The Crucible by Arthur Miller (1952); accessed December 23, 2014.
  8. ^ Profile,; accessed November 30, 2014.
  9. ^ Profile,; accessed December 23, 2014.

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