Venus and Adonis, c. 1650

Oil on canvasexpand_more

Gift of Bruce B. Daytonexpand_more  87.5

In Greek myth, Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, adored the handsome mortal Adonis. She warned him about the dangers of hunting, but he ignored her and was killed by a wild boar. Here, as he sets out, spear in hand and dogs in tow, she pleads with him to stay. Heartbroken at his death, she transformed his blood into anemones, the fragile flowers visible in the shadows behind her.

This painting is in the classicizing style popular in France during the 1600s—a monumental composition with idealized, half-dressed figures. A gifted colorist, Mignard used bold color combinations and a luminous palette to brilliant effect in Adonis’s drapery and the purple canopy above Cupid.



Mignard, Venus and Adonis (#099)
Venus and Adonis
Artist Life
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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