(Italian, c. 1500–after 1566)
Image: 37.6 x 53 cm (14 13/16 x 20 7/8 in.); Sheet: 37.6 x 53 cm (14 13/16 x 20 7/8 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Prasse Collection 1969.307
Catalogue raisonné: Maroner 15
In the 1620s, Titian began to broaden the expressive potential of landscape, which gained increasing significance beyond its function as a setting for the figural action. Since none of Titian's paintings gives landscape such prominence, the artist probably felt freer to experiment in prints, a medium often chosen for new modes of expression. Landscape with a Milkmaid, which seems to picture a simple rustic scene of farmyard activity set against a dominant landscape background, represents Titian's clearest statement of landscape as an independent genre. However, while the composition appears to be a straightforward rendering free of any overt narrative content or literary reference, there are a number of powerful and suggestive motifs, like the eagle perched upon a tree stump in the foreground; it may convey a more specific meaning, though none has yet been found.
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