• Venus and Cupid on Dolphins

    Artist:
    Raffaello (Raffaello Santi), workshop of. 1483-1520
    Technique:
    fresco (transferred from wall to canvas)
    Dimensions:
    267x150 cm

Raffaello (Raffaello Santi), workshop of. 1483-1520

Venus and Cupid on Dolphins

Italy, circa 1520

Currently undergoing restoration. Artist-restorers: Raisa Kazimirova, Yelena Stepanova. A similar mural can be found on the south wall of Cardinal Bibbiena’s Stufetta. The preparatory drawing has not survived, but there is an engraving that Marco Dente made from it. one of a group of six engravings produced in Marcantonio Raimondi’s workshop around 1516 from Raphael and his studio’s original designs for the Stufetta compositions. It is not known for certain exactly what the subject is here. Considering its proximity to The Birth of Venus, the scene can be considered a continuation of it: after being born of the water, Venus was caught up by a dolphin and carried off to the island of Cyprus. Alternatively, the main personage is sometimes identified as a nereid, Galatea – the goddess of calm seas (notably in Raphael’s celebrated fresco at the Villa Farnesina she is depicted commanding dolphins) or Amphitrite, who agreed to marry Poseidon only after being persuaded by a dolphin sent by the sea god who then delivered the bride to her future husband. The composition may be connected to the story of Venus and Adonis: after falling in love with a mortal, the goddess leaves her island and hastens to his side.Test cleanings have been made, freeing the original paintwork from crude later overpainting, repainting and soiling. The treated areas reveal the true state of preservation of the painting. The process of complete cleaning has been begun with the upper part of the fresco, revealing the original colour, drawing and style of the depiction of allegories of the winds, the lush crown of the tree and the cloudy sky.

School:

Title:

Venus and Cupid on Dolphins

Place:

Date:

Technique:

fresco (transferred from wall to canvas)

Dimensions:

267x150 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1861; acquired from the collection of Campana in Rome

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-2332

Category:

Collection:

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