01/08/2013 11:57 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

'Lost' Titian Painting Discovered In Depths Of National Gallery (PHOTO)

"How can it be that buried in the bowels of the National Gallery there is a Titian?" museum director Nicholas Penny recently told Jonathan Jones at the Guardian.


The National Gallery has owned a portrait of doctor Girolamo Fracastoro since 1924, but has only now declared the famous 16th century Venetian painter the author of the detailed portrayal. The painting was misread for nearly a century because it wasn't attributed to a big name artist, and was then left to the dark depths of the museum where lesser works sometimes live.

Yet this unloved Titian received a second chance at glory thanks to art historian Paul Joannides, who brought the work to a lab for restoration. According to the Guardian, it was the detail in Fracastoro's lynx fur stole that truly captivated the National Gallery staff, with the detail and sensuality that set Titian apart. The newly attributed work can now be reunited with 12 other Titian paintings, strengthening one of the strongest collections in the world.

And now for the bad news. The casanova Renaissance painter may have suffered from a most unpleasant sexually transmitted disease. Fracastoro initially gave "syphilis" the title we know today, and the doctor is known to accept paintings from famed artists in return for medical treatment. Could it be that the sensual painter with a passion for flesh suffered from a STD?

See more of Titian's sumptuous masterpieces below: