Francisco de Goya

Venus and Adonis (Venus y Adonis)

Venus and Adonis (Venus y Adonis)
Datos Generales
Ca. 1771
Museum of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
23 x 12 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Government of Aragon
Ficha: realización/revisión
15 Feb 2010 / 14 Apr 2021

GOYA (lower right-hand corner).


This work was produced during Goya's stay in Italy. Desparmet Fitz-Gerald published four previously unpublished works from the artist's youth, amongst which we find this work, interpreted by the Frenchman as depicting Daphnis and Chloe.

The work formed part of private collections in Bayonne and Zurich. It later travelled to North America. It was acquired by the Government of Aragón in 1999, and entrusted to the Museum of Zaragoza.

Análisis artístico

This piece is an example of a particular kind of painting which Goya produced and sold in Italy to cover his living costs. They are small pictures adapted to the tastes of specific clients. (For more information on this kind of work, see Sacrifice to Vesta).

Both the sale and the execution of these works were rapid, as can be seen from the x-ray of this painting, which does not show a single alteration. The scene depicts Venus, weeping inconsolably by the dead body of her lover, the beautiful Adonis, who has been killed by a wild boar.

The composition is clearly divided into two separate areas by the diagonal line established by the trunk of the tree. There is a strong contrast between the background, which is characterized by typically baroque dark tones and a tempestuous sky, and the figures in the foreground, which are illuminated and dressed in very bright colours. Adonis' anatomy reflects Goya's increased interest in classical sculpture, also reflected in the notes written in his Italian Sketchbook.

  • Venus & Cupid. An exhibition of Paintings and Drawings from the XVI to the XIX Century
    From February 14th to March 28th 1991
  • Goya e Italia
    Museo de Zaragoza
    organized by the Fundación Goya en Aragóna, consultant editor Joan Sureda Pons. From June 1st to September 15th 2008
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    pp. 74, 82, cat. 21
  • vol. I, p. 237, cat. 13
  • Xavier Desparmet Fitz-Gerald
    Cuatro pinturas de la juventud de Goya hasta ahora desconocidas
    pp. 201-204
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p. 90, cat. 19
  • José Camón Aznar
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. I, p. 51 y p. 219 (il.)
  • SUREDA PONS, Joan (comisario)
    Goya e Italia, 2 vols.
    ZaragozaFundación Goya en Aragón y Turner
    vol. II, p. 238, cat. 149
Ficha en SAAC

Los Sistemas Aumentativos y Alternativos de Comunicación (SAAC) son formas de expresión distintas al lenguaje hablado, que tienen como objetivo aumentar (aumentativos) y/o compensar (alternativos) las dificultades de comunicación y lenguaje de muchas personas con discapacidad. Más info: Arasaac

Enlaces externos
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