Jan Collaert

Venus and Adonis

Venus and Adonis by Jan Collaert

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Venus fell hopelessly in love with the beautiful Adonis after she accidentally grazed herself on Cupid’s arrow. In this scene, she tries in vain to stop him going hunting while Cupid sleeps in the background, symbolising Adonis’s refusal to be constrained. In the myth he is later gored to death by a wild boar, in spite of the goddess’s attempts to save him. As his blood soaked into the earth, anemones sprouted in its place.

Titian explained the unusual pose of Venus in a letter to his patron Phillip II of Spain, saying he wanted to depict the body from both sides.

(Venus Rising, 2005)

Venus and Adonis
Production date
late 16th century-early 17th century
258 x 175 mm
H.C.F. (l.r.). Ecco la bella Dea madre d' Amore Dice Deh Caro A don rimanti meco.. Ma perche Amor nel suo sempliee core Dorme el garzon non uuol rimaner seco.. Anzi seguendo il suc fatal errore Si conduce ki Morte a l' antro cieco. Cosi Igiudicio human spesso consiglia l'huom che 'l ben fugge et al suo. mal s'appiglia. (l.l. and l.r.).
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr G M Mitford, 1883
Accession no
Other ID
1883/1/54B Old Accession Number
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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