Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 brings together a group of specially commissioned works by contemporary artists, choreographers, composers, dancers and poets in response to three of Titian's paintings – Diana and Actaeon, The Death of Actaeonand 'Diana and Callisto' – all of which were inspired by Ovid’s poem 'Metamorphoses'.
The exhibition, which celebrates British artistic creativity, is a unique collaboration between the National Gallery and the Royal Opera House as part of the Cultural Olympiad's London 2012 Festival.
The National Gallery will showcase the preparatory studies of British contemporary artists Chris Ofili, Conrad Shawcross and Mark Wallinger who are designing sets for three new ballets at the Royal Opera House. The exhibition will trace the development of their designs from inception through to completion.
Renowned choreographers Wayne McGregor, William Tuckett and Christopher Wheeldon are collaborating with the artists to generate new ballets with original music commissioned from leading British composers. In celebration of this occasion, every member of the ballet's company – over 100 dancers – will participate in the project.
A special performance at the Royal Opera House on 16 July 2012 will be simultaneously relayed to the public on a large screen in Trafalgar Square.
In addition, the Gallery has commissioned a group of well-known poets to explore both Ovid's text and Titian's mythological paintings, and to respond with their own poems.
This epic poem was written in Latin by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BC–17 AD) and features the story of Actaeon, which inspired Titian's 'Diana and Actaeon'. A collection of 15 'books' based on the theme of 'change' ('Metamorphoses' means 'transformations' in Greek), these mythical tales were as renowned in Titian's day as Bible stories, and were a popular source of inspiration for many Renaissance artists.
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