The Rape of Europa
Sunday 22 March 2015
Ashmolean Museum: Headley Lecture TheatreVenue
Art historian Lord Charles Fitzroy tells the story – part art history, part detective – of Titian’s celebrated The Rape of Europa from its origin to its passing between collections and its ultimate sale to rich Americans. The painting is a highly erotic description of the famous classical myth and was commissioned as a wedding present for Charles I and his French Queen Henrietta Maria. It was owned by King Philip II of Spain, given to the great art collector, the Duke of Orleans, and acquired by British collectors during the French revolution. It is a prime example of how significant works of art ended up in the hands of wealthy Americans and of how dealer Bernard Berenson made a fortune out of authenticating works of art for wealthy clients.
Fitzroy is a direct descendant of Charles II. He trained as an art historian under Professor Michael Jaffe, runs Fine Art Travel Ltd and is a consultant to Christie’s and Sotheby’s.