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Venus and Adonis from a set of Mythological Subjects after Raphael RE346507

Venus and Adonis from a set of Mythological Subjects after Raphael RE346507

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Introducing "Venus and Adonis," a masterpiece tapestry from the esteemed collection of Mythological Subjects after Raphael, designed and woven in the golden era of 1686–1690. This exquisite piece captures the romantic tragedy of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, as she turns her divine attention towards the handsome mortal Adonis, fresh from the hunt and still clutching his spear.

Positioned just off to the right, Venus’s chariot hints at her celestial status, while she herself is gracefully seated, surrounded by her devoted putti-cherubs and a rugged, sun-weathered satyr. Hovering nearby, a winged youth brandishes a torch, likely representing Hymen, the god of marriage, adding a layer of marital symbolism to the scene. The composition is brought to life with striking detail, such as the beautifully rendered hunting hounds, restrained by a putto, highlighting the tension between the domestic and the wild, the divine and the mortal.

This tapestry, one of eight in a series traditionally known as "Les Sujets de la Fable d’après Raphaël," was commissioned for none other than Louis XIV, the Sun King, whose reign celebrated the grandeur and intricacy of French artistry. The original designs drew inspiration from drawings then believed to be by Raphael and now housed in the Louvre, attributed today to Giulio Romano, depicting allegories of sensual passion with unmatched depth and emotion.

"Woven for royalty, this tapestry offers more than just a visual feast; it is a deep dive into the complexities of mythological narratives, rendered in a style that bridges the Renaissance brilliance of Raphael with the Baroque sensibilities of the French court. "Venus and Adonis" is not merely a decorative piece; it is an investment in a timeless story, a fragment of history that speaks of love’s eternal and sometimes tragic pull. A sublime addition to any collection, it promises to enchant and provoke contemplation on the nature of love and fate.

Venus and Adonis from a set of Mythological Subjects after Raphael RE346507

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