Venus and Adonis


Venus and Adonis



Adonis, in Greek mythology, is the god of beauty and desire. The narrative of Venus’ love for Adonis first appeared in the 1st century BCE Roman poet Ovid’s mythological narrative, ‘Metamorphoses’. As Adonis is about to go hunting in the forest, Venus seizes him and persuades him to love her, although Adonis is not very interested and cares only about hunting. After they part, Adonis is soon killed in a hunting accident. Venus’ sensuous nude figure is shown passively lying in the foreground while Adonis, with his hounds, is all set to escape from the scene for hunting. Cupid is shown pulling his cloak trying to divert his attention to Venus.

Giuseppe Bartolommeo Chiari was an Italian painter of the late-Baroque period, active mostly in Rome. In 1666 CE, joined the Italian Baroque painter Carlo Maratta or Maratti (1625 –1713) as an assistant and in a short period, he became one of the leading painters in early 18th century Rome, winning commission for major ceiling decoration in the Palazzo Barberini and the Palazzo Colonna.

The Venus’ figure is reminiscent in pose of ‘Sleeping Venus’ by Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco, (c. 1477/8–1510), Italian painter of the High Renaissance, which is on display in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Germany

Recently the signature of the artist has been discovered on the base of the chariot and near the left breast of Venus. The InfraRed image of the sign reads ‘Joseph Clarivs’- the anglicized version of the artist’s name.
Sir Ratan Tata Collection


European Paintings


Giuseppe Chiari

Object Type

Oil Painting Painting


Oil on canvas






1654-1727 CE