Annibale Carracci's Venus, Adonis and Cupid
Paul Holberton Publishing | ISBN 9781903470404
Paperback – 99 pages
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Annibale Carracci was the great genius of early Baroque painting in Italy, blighted by melancholia at the end of his life but full of promise and invention in his prime. This book concentrates on one of his most ambitious early works, painted in Bologna, the Venus, Adonis and Cupid in the Prado Museum, Madrid. This is the English edition of a publication by the Prado specially dedicated to this painting, which has recently been cleaned and restored and is being displayed beside works by Veronese and Titian on the same subject with which Annibale was consciously competing.
The subject, which is taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, was regarded in the Renaissance period as offering the greatest possible scope for a painter’s brush – a male and a female nude, strong emotion, pathos, heroism – and, since Adonis was a hunter, dogs as well.
The Venus and Adonis, despite its importance in Annibale’s oeuvre and its monumental size, has been comparatively little studied. This book reveals important new information about Annibale Carracci, technically, creatively, stylistically. The book is superbly produced and illustrated (in five-colour process) and is part of a series of Prado publications devoted to individual masterpieces in the Museum.