Titian Metamorphosis

A collaboration between The Royal Ballet and the National Gallery

Edited and introduced by Minna Moore Ede
Foreword by Dame Monica Mason
Photography by Gautier Deblonde, Andrej Uspenski and Johan Persson

‘Compelling … stunning … this book is a treasure’ — Ballet News
‘A work of art’ — 4dancers.org
‘One of the most extravagantly interesting collaborative projects ever seen at Covent Garden’ — Guardian
‘[Titan Metamorphosis] is resounding success … a real joy’ — New York Times
‘A book that will excite dance fans’ — London Dance

This beautiful publication celebrates a unique collaboration between two of London’s greatest cultural institutions. Together The Royal Ballet and the National Gallery commissioned three acclaimed contemporary artists – Chris Ofili, Conrad Shawcross and Mark Wallinger – to work with international choreographers and composers to create three new ballets inspired by the Titian paintings Diana and Callisto, Diana and Actaeon and The Death of Actaeon. As well as designing all the sets and costumes, the artists also produced new works in response to Titian’s masterpieces for a show at the National Gallery.

The book tells the story of this extraordinary, complex project from conception to stage and gallery. The artists’ notebooks, sketches and other material from the studio are reproduced to show how they evolved their initial ideas into working designs. Numerous views of the dancers’ rehearsals, the creation of the sets and the gallery installations, as well as dozens of unseen photographs of the performances themselves, take the reader behind the scenes to see the many processes and people involved in transforming the artists’ vision into a finished production.

All three creative teams offer their own reflections on the project and on working with very different art forms. An introduction by National Gallery curator and originator of the project, Dr Minna Moore Ede, explains how the collaboration came to fruition and unfolded. A foreword by Dame Monica Mason, outgoing director of The Royal Ballet, completes this stunning volume.

Dr Minna Moore Ede is Assistant Curator of Renaissance Paintings at the National Gallery, London, and curator of ‘Metamorphosis: Titian 2012’

Dame Monica Mason DBE is the former Director of The Royal Ballet, London 


What others say

‘So compelling that you find yourself totally absorbed within its pages for hours at a time… Page after stunning page of production photographs and rehearsal images from each of the ballets awaits you, printed on lusciously thick paper. This book is a real treasure.’ — Ballet News

‘180-plus pages of thought-provoking interviews and stunning photographs … a work of art’ — 4dancers.org

‘A book that will excite dance fans because its numerous images are so beautiful’ — London Dance

‘One of the most extravagantly interesting collaborative projects ever seen at Covent Garden … Some kind of history had been made, some benchmark set for the future … the dance event of 2012’ — Guardian 

‘[Titian Metamorphosis] is a resounding success … a real sense of collective creative energy and innovation permeated the enterprise … a real joy’ — New York Times

‘An explosion of brilliant new work’ — Time Out