Gardner painting ‘Europa’ to be featured on European banknote?

Titian’s “Europa.”
Titian’s “Europa.” Credit:

The European Central Bank is about to unveil the new 10-euro banknote, and word is it may include an image of a painting that hangs at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Nothing is confirmed, but Spanish media are reporting that the note, part of the currency’s new Europa Series, will feature Titian’s “Europa” (pictured) — or “The Rape of Europa,” as it’s commonly known. Considering the sorry state of the European economy, some have suggested this is a joke. (We’ll find out when the banknote is unveiled Jan. 13.) All of this is news to the folks at the Gardner, who told us Thursday they haven’t heard anything about the painting being featured on currency. Writing recently about Titian’s “Europa,” Globe critic Sebastian Smee called it “the greatest painting in Boston, if not in all of America.”