Venus and Adonis
18th century, Polychrome wax
A representation of a myth particularly dear to the Arcadian culture of the 18th century, this small group in polychrome wax is a masterpiece of grace and sensuality in the suggestive depiction of the body of the goddess and in the gesture and expression of her companion, whose features are just as beautiful. The tale from Ovid's Metamorphoses, in fact, extols Venus’ beauty and tells of her desperate passion, aroused unintentionally by Cupid, who appears in the background holding an arrow, now lost. Traditionally, the myth depicted the episode of the young man's death during a hunt and the goddess' subsequent grief almost as a warning to those who love too much; in this exquisite group, the anonymous sculptor chooses instead to depict the moment of falling in love, fully in line with Rococo taste.