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Venus and Adonis
17th Century
Battistello CARACCIOLO
Venus and Adonis
[Venere e Adone]
c 1630
Oil on canvas
204 x 145 cm  [HxW]
Museo e Gallerie Nazionali di Capodimonte, Napoli

This is one of Caracciolo’s very few paintings of a profane subject. Venus, goddess of love, was hopelessly in love with the beautiful Adonis. One day while hunting he was slain by a wild boar but Venus was too late to save him. Anenomes sprouted where his blood spilled. In this dramatic work Caracciolo pays close attention to the elements of the myth such as their son Cupid carrying a ring to signify the union, the dove which signifies Venus and Adonis’ hunting dogs.

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