- Reference number
- Titian [Vecellio di Gregorio Tiziano]
- Venus and Adonis
- 186 cm x 207 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (¿Palacio de El Pardo, Madrid, sala de la antecámara, 1701, nº 64?; ¿El Pardo, tercera pieza, 1747, nº 14? o Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, primera sala de la Furriera, 1747, nº 11; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, estudio de Andrés de la Calleja, 1772, nº 11; Casa de Rebeque, Madrid, 1794, nº 11; Academia, Madrid, sala reservada, 1827, nº 49).
Venus, the classical goddess of Love and Beauty, is aware of her beloved Adonis' mortal destiny and attempts to persuade him not to go hunting.
For Felipe II, Titian painted a series of works known as Poesie based on classical texts, mainly Ovid's Metamorphoses. Two of them —Danaë (P00425) and Venus and Adonis (P00422)— are in the Prado Museum. Other works in this series include Diana and Acteon, Diana and Calixto (both at the National Gallery in Edinburgh), The Rape of Europe (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston) and Perseus and Andromeda (The Wallace Collection, London). Titian himself chose the subject matter for these works, which he called Poesie and, beyond symbolic or moral interpretations, they were conceived as paintings to delight the senses.
The Poesie paintings appear in the inventories of Madrid's Alcázar Palace beginning in 1623. They entered the Prado Museum collection in 1827.