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  • Venus and Cupid

    Artist:
    Cranach, Lucas I. 1472-1553
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    213x102 cm

Cranach, Lucas I. 1472-1553

Venus and Cupid

Germany, 1509

The painting was the earliest known North European depiction of the nude goddess of love (previously only Eve had been shown naked), as well as Cranach's first painting on a subject borrowed from Classical mythology. It combines an interest in Italian Renaissance art with the strict religious morals of German humanism. The Latin inscription, probably made by some of Wittenberg’s humanists who befriended the artist, warns, " Ward off with all your strength Cupid's love of voluptuousness, / Or else Venus will take possession of your blinded soul." Cranach rejected a complex colour scheme, placing the emphasis on the modelling of the bodies, which stand out majestically against the black background. The only bright spots are the turquoise beads around Venus's neck and the red ones of Cupid. Venus's elongated proportions and the distinctive flowing lines anticipate the images characteristic of the artist’s later works. ‘Venus and Cupid’ represents a masterpiece of the early period of Cranach’s creative work.

Title:

Venus and Cupid

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

213x102 cm

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-680

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Collection:

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