Description In this subject taken from ancient Greco-Roman mythology, the beautiful hunter Adonis, mortally wounded by a wild boar, is mourned by his lover Venus, goddess of love. The tragedy is rendered with great delicacy and concentrates on the intimate moment of the last farewell. Heightened emotion is imaginatively conveyed by the turbulence of the fluttering drapery and the inherent instability of the angle at which the body rests. Superb craftsmanship in the final chasing of the surface creates rich textures and details. The composition often parallels with the artist's "Dead Christ Mourned by the Virgin" (Walters 54.1066). Soldani, who was employed by the Medici court in Florence, often designed elaborate bases for his works. This exceptional example features detailing with a hunting motif and an inscription in Latin, reading "Through love, I may resurrect," alluding to the transformation of the blood of the dying Adonis into red anemones.
- Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001.
Provenance Liddell family, Ravensworth Castle, Durham; Albert, 4th Earl Grey [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Jacques Seligmann, New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] AMORE RESURGAM
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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