A claim that Titian’s Venus of Urbino (1538) is portrayed reclining on a DFS sofa has provoked fierce hostilities between art experts and discount sofa manufacturers. Professor Massimo Taglia of Florence’s Uffizi gallery, claims that close examination of Titian’s masterpiece of a nude young woman, identified with the goddess Venus, reclining on a sofa, suggests that the latter is an early DFS creation.
But rival sofa store Furniture Village has hit back. Professor Jan de Riejter of Holland’s Rijksmuseum, said ‘There can be no doubt that the sofa in Titian’s painting is a Furniture Village recliner. ‘People mustn’t forget that I have already established that the nude in Manet’s Olympia (1863), is reclining on an authentic Furniture Village piece.’
But Professor Taglia said that the Titian sofa bears a striking resemblance to one of DFS’s current models. ‘The Titian sofa is remarkably similar to DFS’s Viva corner sofa in red, currently on special offer at £599 with 4 years interest free credit and pay nothing for the first year.’
Professor Taglia says that he also has evidence that Titian probably visited Britain at about the same time the Venus of Urbino was painted. ‘I believe that on a visit to Britain in about 1537, Titian stayed at Tunbridge Wells, the believed site of an early DFS store, where he could have bought the sofa which also folds out into a comfy double bed,’ he said. ‘We have also established that the visit was probably around Christmas and the New Year, the time for DFS Boxing Day and New Year sales.’
Miss Margaret Lovegrove, 26, from Luton, who models for DFS TV commercials and is often seen reclining on DFS sofas, claims she is descended from the Venus of Urbino.
‘Of course I don’t take my clothes off for the TV commercials,’ she said. ‘But if I were to recline on the special offer, interest free for 4 years Viva corner sofa in red, stark bollock naked and with my hand over my pubes, you’d soon see the resemblance between me and the Venus of Wotsit.’