Winter Schedule: 9.30-18.00 | Last entry at 16.30

Winter Schedule: 9.30-18.00 | Last entry at 16.30

Venus blindfolding Cupid

Luca Cambiaso (1527-1585)
16th century, Oil on canvas

This beautiful painting is by Ligurian painter and sculptor Luca Cambiaso, an important figure in the Mannerist period in Genoa. He produced large decorations for the city's noble palaces and numerous altarpieces as well as profane scenes such as this one, with its clearly erotic intent. A pupil and collaborator of his father Giovanni, Luca was attentive to the best Venetian and Tuscan painting, from Beccafumi to Perin del Vaga to Pordenone, and was influenced by both Parmigianino and Correggio, whose art he became acquainted with when he traveled to Rome. His manner later approached that of Raphael and he developed a style so effective that it became a point of reference for Ligurian painting for almost three centuries. This painting, which is undocumented and was therefore executed for an unknown client, is a masterpiece of ambiguity in its subtle play of expressions. The mischievous gaze of the sensual Venus, portrayed from behind, meets the suitably complicit expression of Cupid, blindfolded according to the traditional iconography that links carnal love with sin and, therefore, with darkness.