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Lot 1204 | Umkreis | Tiziano Vecellio | Venus and Adonis

10.000 - 20.000 €
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Auction results from: Tiziano Vecellio
ca. 1489 Pieve di Cadore - 1576 Venedig


Title: Venus and Adonis.
Technique: Oil on canvas.
Mounting: Relined.
Measurement: 61 x 77cm.
Frame: Framed.

Private ownership, Germany.

Who in this country was worshipped and praised as a "Maler-Fürst" (engl. Painter Prince) in the 19th century, for example Franz von Lenbach or Franz von Stuck in Munich, he could not only show a splendid estate, but also had an almost public, opulent lifestlye and knew how to celebrate roaring artist parties with their followers.

All of this, however, was nothing against the adoration of artists in Italy, especially in 16th century Italy. At that time, artists were downright put on a pedestal. He was celebrated as a genius and worshipped him almost like an "artist-god". Leonardo da Vinci, Raffael, Michelangelo, Tintoretto would be examples for this - and, of course, especially: Tiziano!

Tiziano, actually Tiziano Vecellio, was born in 1488 in Pieve die Cadore and died at the age of ca. 86 in Venice in 1576. Already as a young person he had come to Venice. The brothers Gentile and Giovanni Bellini recognised his artistic talent and taught hime. At the age of 25 he already opened his own artist's workshop. he did not miss anything. His artistic talent quickly was highly praised and his reputation as a gifted painter hurried ahead of him. ALl over Europe, he received commissions, on which he worked alongside his most talented student. As a result Tizian portrayed, for example, Charles V, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and Pope Paul III in Rome, as well as Philipp II in Spain.

No other painter infused the presented personalities with such vividness as he did at that time. No other treated the materiality of the substances in an as differentiated way as this artist. The silky shiny hair of a portrayed lady entice to touching, the velvety-soft garments prompt the oberserver's eyes to follow the fluid drapery, the exact representation of the precious satin fabric call for admiration on all sides. Tiziano knew how to handle colouring and used it in a way utterly surprising for his contemporaries. This was a new kind of painting that was, especially at that time, fascinating for all observers.

Except for the portraits that were highly popular amongst chirch and aristocracy, Tiziano also painted ladscapes as well as mythological and religious motifs. In his brilliant versatility he produced moving depcitions of Madonna, impressive ceiling frescos and altar pieces rich in figures.
Time and again he dealt with diverse motifs of Roman mythology all life long. This way he was also fascinated by the famous love story of Venus and Adonis and implemented this in a painting at the age of 65:

The goddess of love, Venus, falls in love with the young Adonis because he is astoundingly beautiful. However, this erotic relatioship suddenly ends when Adonis is killed by a boar during the hunt. From his blood venus lets bloom a flower due to her aching heart, the so-called pheasant's eye. This way, Adonis can bloom as a flower on earth for some time of the year while he must reside in the underworld for the left time.

In his painting Tizian now grasps the dramtic moment in his painting when Venus is trying to prevent her young beloved from the hunt because she knows that he would die if he actually went hunting. Despite all of her struggles she cannot hold back Adonis. The observer knows how the story will end and Tiziano confirms the uncomfortable feeling with all the means available to him. The artist lets the bare Venus cling in compicated body twists to Adonis who is rushing forward, cled in signal red garments.The accompanying hounds are already tugging at the leashes and are picking up the scent of the quarry. In the middle ground on the left Cupid is oversleeping the significant moment. He does not help her at all. And in the sky, mountains of clouds are looming in a threatening manner, from which the first rays of sunshine are tediously fighting their way out.

This artwork of the almost worshipped artist shook up soceity at that time. No wonder that it had been copied by his students more than once within the artist's workshop during Tiziano's life time. And also after Tiziano's death it did not lose its radiance. There are once and again artists during that time that are inspired by the original that is exhibited at the Prado nowadays and then interpret it in their personal style.

Our offered artwork was created shortly after Tiziano's death in his closest circle of students, according to our judgement. The artist perfectly managed to transfer the motif of the large-scale original with the measurements 186 x 207 cm to a smaller-scale version. It convinces with its strong contrasts of colours and its artistic treatment of details. Thus the elaboration of Venus' hair style for example hints distinctly ata Venetian artist. Only these were skilled enough to ban the silky soft hair of a female figure onto the canvas. The present painting radiates a personal artistic trademark. It grasps wide beyong being a mere copy of Tiziano's famous motif of Venus and Adonis by means of a self-confident artistic interpretation.

Dr. Davide Dossi
Fine Art
+49 221 92 58 62 200

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Conditions of this Lot

VAT margin scheme, VAT included, but must not be indicated, not refundable

32% buyer’s premium on the hammer price

Similar works in the auction
Tiziano Vecellio     Renaissance   16th C.   Old Masters   Framed   Mythology   Painting   Nude  

Stock Id: 77045-1