David Molesky on Titian’s The Flaying of Marsyas

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David Molesky considers Titian's The Flaying of Marsyas which is on view in the exhibition Unfinished at the Met Breuer, New York, through September 4, 2016. Molesky writes: "Did this painting put a spell on me? I am not sure, but it certainly has made me feel more open to the possibility that within the mysteries of painting there is a kind of magic that perhaps can be revealed by studying how great work interfaces with our minds. Painting is a kind of pre-masticated vision, that is, what’s depicted has been pre-chewed by the painter’s mind and hands, making it easier for viewers to digest complex fantastical views. One aspect of The Flaying of Marsyas that is so wonderful is that we can gain a sense of Titian’s own disposition by the way he spits out the characters in his painting. Titian is receptive to the noble qualities of humanity and he seems to have sympathy for the character of Marsyas and how his death has affected those around him."

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