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This is one of my narrative stories for TV series "The World Picture Gallery with Aunt Owl" (MASKI Production Co.). This educational animated series was represented in Cannes, in TV Market MIPCOM in October, 2007.


by Alexander Kalinkin
Genre: Educational, Fairy Tales, Art
Run Time: 10 minutes

THE AUNT OWL: Children, my greetings to you! The World Picture Gallery opens its door before you again. Today we'll make an acquaintance with the great master of a paintbrush Titian Vechellio.

Nobody knows when precisely Titian was born. I t happened about 1490 in a small town Pieve de Cadore, that's somewhere deep in the Alps mountains. When he was just a nine-year-old boy, his parents sent him along with his elder brother to Venice to learn painting. While there, he was destined to become a great artist and to live a long and interesting life.

Titian - Self-portrait

In the beginning Titian helped different painters to decorate the walls of temples. He worked so well that it wasn't clear who helped whom! People praised his pictures, and soon he began to paint the temples by himself as an experienced artist.

Titian - St. Mark sitting on the throne

Once Titian painted a portrait of a familiar nobleman. The portrait was very expressive and vivid. Look, children! What an attentive and penetrating gaze this man has! The picture is almost five hundred years old but it seems as if this man is alive now!

Titian - Venetian nobleman

The fame of the talented artist grew fast. Many noble people asked Titian to paint their portraits - there were kings and queens, priests and merchants among them.

Titian - portrait

Temples also valued Titian's talent and took pride in the pictures with which he had decorated their walls. The master portrayed angels, saints and people so vividly, it was as if they were always real…


Titian aimed to see beauty in people. When he succeeded in this, he was able to embody it in his wonderful canvas. Our story today will also be about beauty…

Titian - Flora

Once upon a time a maiden lived in a town. Her name was Isabella. She was pretty but she wanted to be the very prettiest. She was rich but she wanted to be the most rich. "If I were the most beautiful girl in the world, I could choose the richest bridegroom," she thought, "But how may I become so beautiful?"

Titian - La Bella

Her best friend, the knight Vicente told her that she was the most beautiful maiden. But... although he was handsome, he was just a knight. Everyday he visited Isabella and played a new music melody for her.

Titian - Vecente Mosti

Oh, she wished would prince Philip have said that! He is said to fond of his weapons only... but he was so rich!

Titian - Philip

One day Isabella took a rest nearby a forest on her estate. The day was drawing to a close, and she was going home. Suddenly a snake crawled out and spoke to her in human voice:
"Do you want to be beautiful like the goddess Venus herself? There is a well of earthy beauty in the Venus' orchard. You should drink water from it to become beautiful as she is. I can show you a way there if you promise me to be my wife afterwards".
Isabella was scared: "How can I marry you if you are a snake?"
- You wish to be the richest bride, don't you? So I am the richest bridegroom in the world.
- But you are a snake! You are ugly and nasty!
- Is that so important to you? Vicente is so sweet and so kind. Why haven't you married him then? Why do you wish to marry the prince Philip? Is it because of his wealth? Be aware! I'm richer than Philip! But the most important is that you will be the most beautiful! Agree with me, it is a paying proposition.
"Will I be as lovely as the goddess Venus?" Isabella asked.
"Yes, indeed, you will", - the snake persuaded her.
Can you imagine, children? Isabella agreed! However most likely she thought to deceive the snake later but... listen to what turned out then…

Titian - Orphey and Evridika

The snake showed Isabella the way to the Venus' orchard, and the maiden came to the well of earthy beauty. What a wonderful place it was! Birds were singing around, orange trees were blossoming! Isabella drew some water from the well, took a sip and became more beautiful although she was a real beauty before.
At once Venus appeared nearby along with Amour, her young helper.
- What have you done, Isabella? This well gives only a nice appearance. True beauty comes from the heart. If you are kind, then both people and animals will rich toward you as to the sun.
"Why?" Isabella asked. "I don't understand! If I am beautiful, then I will have everything what I want!"
Venus shook her head: "Mind the snake. He will deceive you".

Titian - Earthy Love and Heavenly Love

The light faded, the maiden reached her home. There everybody had waited for her, the knight Vicente couldn't take his eyes off Isabella,

Titian - A country concert, a fragment

...but Isabella didn't even greet him - she hastened to her mirrors - "Ah, how beautiful I am now!"

Titian - Venus with a mirror

Isabella's parents became sad. Their daughter almost lost her mind - she did little else but walk by mirrors and admire herself. She even drove away her knight Vicente.

Titian - A lady in white

The king of that land, Philip's father had heard about Isabella's beauty and visited her house to see the maiden. At first the parents were happy for such a visit, but Isabella still couldn't leave her mirrors. Now she looked at her nose, now she looked at her lips. She didn't wish to come out to meet the important guest.

Titian - Carl V

Suddenly the sky turned dark, a strong wind had risen. Then a sharp horned bull appeared on a road. It rushed along hardly touching the road with its hooves. The king was scared of the beast and ran away through a back entrance. The bull rushed right into Isabella's room, threw her upon its mighty back and vanished from sight.

Titian - Kidnapping Europe

The parents sent a courier to Vicente at once. He still loved proud Isabella. When the knight learned about the disaster, he made ready for the journey. He fastened on his good sword and saddled his steed. But it wasn't clear, where to seek the maiden.

Titian - Hippolito Medici

Then the goddess Venus decided to help the loving knight and sent her Amour with a gift to him. The gift was a pair of flying sandals.

Titian - Venus covering Aumour's eyes

Vicente putted the shoes on and flew up to the sky.

Titian - Persey and Andromeda, a fragment

Amour, the boy, flew nearby, ahead of him, showing the way.
Vicente's flight was very long - fields and towns, forests and mountains, deserts and seas all passed by under him.

Titian - Madonna with the infant, a fragment

So he reached the snake's den. He saw poor Isabella chained to the cliff and the monster dancing by its prey. Vicente fought with the monster, defeated it and rescued his beloved.

Titian - Persey and Andromeda

Isabella had greatly changed in the time she spent in the snake's den. She understood now that beauty and wealth are not the main values in life. As soon as she saw Vicente again, her heart filled with love for him. She became kind and tender.

Titian - 3

When they returned home, they celebrated with a merry wedding. Soon Isabella gave birth to a son. She was a kind mother for her little baby. Everybody around felt her kindness, even fearful hearted rabbits came to Isabella and birds sang their songs to her. Vicente doted upon his wife. Now Isabella understood Venus' words that true beauty comes from heart. She loved her husband, her son and the whole earth with its forests, animals and birds. And everything returned her love.

Titian - Madonna with a rabbit

And you, children, be kinder to those who are around you - to mom and dad, to other children, to your pets, to birds and flowers. They will respond to you with love just as our hearts respond to splendid pictures of Titian Vechellio. Did you like the pictures? And the fairy tale? Our lesson is complete. The International Art Gallery is always opened for you, children! Come here again! Good bye!

(C) 2008 Maski Production Company
The script is published here with permission of the copyright owner - the MASKI Production Co. and the producer Sergey Zarev.

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