Titian's masterpiece Diana and Callisto has been saved for the nation in a £45 million deal.
The oil painting, one of a series of six created for King Philip II of Spain in the 16th century, was bought after a fundraising campaign which saw the National Gallery in London pledge £25 million towards the cost of keeping it in the country.
It will remain on show with another of Titian's works, its companion piece Diana and Actaeon, and be shared between the gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh.
National Gallery director Nicholas Penny said: "For more than a hundred years these two great paintings by Titian have been regarded as pre-eminent among the masterpieces in private hands in the UK.
"We have been able to secure both of them for the public, in a period of economic hardship, because of the esteem and affection that both institutions have enjoyed for many decades.
"It is a triumph for us, but also for our predecessors, made possible by today's supporters, but also by benefactors who have long departed."
The £25 million contributed by the National Gallery comes from its reserves, which have been built up over the years from bequests left by members of the public.
Contributions from the Heritage Lottery fund, the Art Fund and individual donors were also put towards the cost of buying the work.
The two paintings have been in the UK for more than 200 years and form part of the Bridgewater Collection.
Their owner, the Duke of Sutherland, sold Diana And Actaeon to the two galleries in 2009 for £50 million - a sum significantly lower than the market price.
He gave them until this year to raise a similar amount to buy Diana And Callisto before agreeing to reduce the asking price by £5 million.
The painting will go on show in London for 18 months from today and then be displayed in Scotland for a year before settling into a display cycle which will see it shared by both establishments.
John Leighton, director-general of the National Galleries of Scotland, said the risk that the money might not be raised and the painting would be sold overseas was "a very real one".
He said: "For us in Scotland this has always been about a battle to hold on to what I would describe as our triple AAA status as a great art collection".
Both paintings will form the centrepiece of a special display in Edinburgh to coincide with the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Mr Leighton added: "From today these great paintings belong to the British public and we could not be more thrilled that they will be available for the enjoyment, the education, and the inspiration for generations to come."
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the announcement was "great news".
He said: "Diana And Callisto is a breathtakingly beautiful work of art and I am immensely grateful to everyone who has helped to keep it and its companion painting Diana And Actaeon in the UK in perpetuity."
- During his lifetime, Titian was known as 'da Cadore' after his birthplace, Pieve di Cadore, in the Republic of Venice
- Titian was made 'official court painter' in 1530 by the emperor Charles V
- He had a reputation as being a shrewd and cutthroat businessman, but was described as being generous to his friends.
- Titian was forced to move in a huge workshop to meet the demands of his public, who made him one of the most successful and admired painters of the Italian Renaissance.
- Diana and Callisto depicts the moment when the goddess Diana finds out her maid Callisto has become pregnant by Jupiter.
Check out some of Titian's most famous works:
Diana and Callisto by Italian Renaissance master Titian which has been saved for the nation in a £45 million deal. The oil painting, one of a series of six created for King Philip II of Spain in the 16th century, was bought after a fundraising campaign which saw the National Gallery in London pledge £25 million towards the cost of keeping it in the country. (Photo credit: National Gallery/PA Wire)
A cameraman films 'Diana And Callisto' (circa 1556-59) oil painting by Venetian artist Titian as it goes on display for the first time at the National Gallery on March 1, 2012 in London, England. (Photo credit: Getty)
A gallery employee stands beside 'Diana And Callisto' (circa 1556-59) oil painting by Venetian artist Titian as it goes on display for the first time at the National Gallery on March 1, 2012 in London, England. (Photo credit: Getty)
A gallery assistant for Sotheby's auction house adjusts a painting by Titian expected to fetch up to £13million entitled 'A Sacra Conversazione: The Madonna and Child with Saints Luke and Catherine of Alexandria' on December 3, 2010 in London, England. Sotheby's sale of 'Old Master & British Paintings' takes place in London on December 8, 2010 and a sale of Old Master works in New York will take place on January 26-27, 2011. The auctions feature works from George Stubbs, Titian, Rembrandt and Rubens. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
This picture taken on August 30, 2010 shows water dripping from 'David and Goliath', a painting by renaissance master Titian in the Santa Maria della Salute basilica in Venice. Authorities in Venice were inspecting the painting after it was damaged by water used to put out a fire that erupted near the church. (Photo credit: ANDREA PATTARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Edinburgh art college students, make a human frame around a large-scale reproduction of Titian's masterpiece Diana and Actaeon on February 5, 2009 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The painting by 2nd Year Drawing & Painting students at Edinburgh College of Art will go on public display this weekend. A group of 52 students started work on the project back in December when the original painting was still under threat of sale overseas. For two months the students have worked on individual sections of the painting, rendered in their own personal styles, which will now be assembled as one painting for a limited three-day public display in celebration of Titian's original staying in Scotland. (Photo credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Artist Tracey Emin holds a reproduction of Titian's painting 'Diana and Actaeon' on the steps of Number 10 Downing Street on November 10, 2008 in London, England. Ms Emin handed the painting and a petition to staff in Downing Street in support of the campaign to raise £50million to save Titian's masterpiece for the nation. (Photo credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
A young girl views the Titian painting, Diana and Actaeon, at the National Galleries of Scotland August 28, 2008 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The two Titian paintings are under threat of being sold unless the National Galleries of Scotland can raise £100million in the next four years. The 7th Duke of Sutherland who owns the two works has decided to sell them to rebalance his family's assets. (Photo credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Two women discuss a painting by Italian high renaissance painter Titian (1485-1576) on auction in Madrid, 29 November 2006. The painting, a portrait of a woman was discovered by a member of the auction group Segre and is believed to be have been painted around 1550. (Photo credit: PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
Visitors walk past the painting 'The Portrait of a Lady and her Daughter' by Titian (Tiziano Vecelli), one of the greatest 16th century Renaissance painters of Venice, Italy, on 13 October 2005 in Hamburg, northern Germany. The painting, estimated to be worth eight million euros, has not previously been seen for over 400 years, and was only recently revealed after nearly twenty years of careful restoration.'The Portrait of a Lady and her Daughter' is to be sold in an auction in London later this year. (Photo credit: ROLAND MAGUNIA/AFP/Getty Images)
The inedit painting 'Portrait of a Lady' by Italian Renaissance painter Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) is presented to buyers before being for 360,000 euros during an auction in Madrid, 19 December 2006. (Photo credit: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)