Adonis led to Venus by Putti

Adonis led to Venus by Putti, late seventeenth century, from a series of the History of Venus, Wool and silk, 300 × 535 cm


Palazzo Vendramin Grimani 2022

  • Subject: perhaps after Gianbattista Marino’s Adonis, published in 1624?
  • Model: Francesco Albani, known as Albano (1578-1660), after a painting from the first half of the seventeenth century, or one of the prints that were made from it, the first in 1672.
  • Place of weaving: undetermined, either Paris, Beauvais, or Flanders? Late seventeenth century, wool and silk, 300 x 535 cm

In a vast landscape, occupied on the left by a lake bordering a steep mountain, and on the right by a thick forest bordering an embankment, a scene is unfolding, preluding the love story of Venus and Adonis. Beneath the shade of a shelter tied to branches, Venus, in light clothing and surrounded by three putti, is lying asleep on a cushion, hands under her head. In front of her, at the centre of the scene and accompanied by a putto, the young and beautiful Adonis, dressed in a short tunic and with a large cloak flying behind him, holds a spear in one hand and his greyhound in the other, as he walks towards Venus. Numerous putti are enjoying themselves at the lake, bathing and playing.

The rich brown border is decorated with a series of small motifs (leaves with symmetrical profiles, vases, incense burners, pedestals, bunches of flowers, etc.), interrupted at the corners by a shell, and in the middle of the sides by a cartouche bearing a rose window on a light blue background. This type of mythological landscape was very popular in France in the seventeenth century.