Venus blindfolding Cupid’s eyes

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

Few of the Ligurian artist’s paintings are so provocative and sensual. A painting for a private collector, it features an intimate scene with distinctly erotic overtones: Venus blindfolds Cupid as she casts a mischievous glance at the spectator, who might have moved the curtain to the left to observe the scene.  The soft modelling of the anatomy, the clear-cut edges of the pink and ivory drapery, the elusive

effect of the colour and light are typical characteristics of Luca Cambiaso’s works in the short period when the artist also dedicated himself to profane works (1565 circa). Luca Cambiaso was a pupil of his father Giovanni (1495-1577 circa) and also worked alongside him; at the outset he focused on the artwork of Perin del Vaga, Pordenone and Beccafumi. He later softened forms marked by exaggerated proportions and the unusual settings of his youthful works with his own personal take on his experiences in enlightenment and colour of Veneto’s artists, as can be seen in this work.