Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Tarquin and Lucretia

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) Italian

Not on view

Late in his life, Titian painted three versions of the rape of Lucretia by her husband’s guest, the Etruscan prince Sextus Tarquinius, of which this is the most experimental. As one recent critic has said, the paintings seem the result of the elderly Titian’s interest in "extreme tragedies, in the paradox of unjustified actions." Technical examination has shown that the artist changed his mind about the figures’ positions and relationships, and although the surface has great energy, nowhere does it seem entirely resolved. Yet the psychological drama between the two protagonists is penetrating: they seem gripped by their own thoughts but caught in a momentary balance. It is impossible to say whether the painting is literally unfinished, but it is more likely that the artist deliberately used the non finito technique to best convey the tragic story.

Tarquin and Lucretia, Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian, Pieve di Cadore ca. 1485/90?–1576 Venice), Oil on canvas

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.