• Venus Wounded by Cupid

    Artist:
    Raffaello (Raffaello Santi), workshop of. 1483-1520
    Technique:
    fresco (transferred from wall to canvas)
    Dimensions:
    263x153 cm

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

Venus Wounded by Cupid

Italy, circa 1520

After restoration. Artist-restorers: Yelena Baranova, Tatyana Metskovskaya. The depiction of Venus pierced by one of Cupid’s arrows is the starting point of the love story of Venus and Adonis as told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses: “For [Venus’s] lips while Cupid prest,/ He with a heedless arrow raz’d her breast,/ The Goddess felt it, and with fury stung,/ The wanton mischief from her bosom flung…” Unable to counter Cupid’s enchantments, Venus fell in love with the mortal Adonis and rushed to him.The exhibition includes a preparatory drawing created in 1516 for the similar composition in the Stufetta that later became the basis for an engraving by Agostino Veneziano and the fresco at the Palatine villa. As with all the designs of this sort, the landscape background is absent and was supposed to be added by the eventual executor according to his taste. Hence the radical difference between the engraving and the fresco. Presented alongside is a fragment of a cartoon showing Venus’s face that is a similar size to the corresponding part of the fresco. The goddess’s features completely match the preparatory drawing from 1516, but they differ from those in the final fresco. The artist probably decided in the course of the work to deviate from an exact repetition of the prototype.This fresco, which stands out for its particularly good state of preservation, was cleaned layer by layer of soiling, multiple coats of overpainting of various dates, insertions made from coloured wax and overpainting of the contours. In the lower part, the restorers removed a shiny rigid layer of darkened restoration glue that had altered the texture of the fresco’s surface and the palette of colours. The original colour scheme of the painting was identified. The losses have been made good and tinted to fit with the surrounding original paintwork and give the composition back its pictorial integrity.

School:

Title:

Venus Wounded by Cupid

Place:

Date:

Technique:

fresco (transferred from wall to canvas)

Dimensions:

263x153 cm

Acquisition date:

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

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-2335

Category:

Collection:

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