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Titian: Cain and Abel

Titian 1487/90 – 1576

Cain and Abel

oil on canvas (298 × 282 cm) — 1542-44 Museum Santa Maria della Salute, Venice

Titian biography

This work is linked to Genesis 4:8

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Abel is slain by his brother Cain.

Abel's leg, his left arm and Cain's curved body form part of a circle that makes the picture very dynamic. The effects of the dark sky and the threatening Cain are emphasized by the perspective, which suggests a low point of view.

The painting is now in the church of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice. It was originally made as a ceiling painting for the Santo Spirito in Isola. Titian made two other ceiling paintings for that church, one on David and Goliath and one on the Sacrifice of Isaac.

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