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ITALIAN SCHOOL. 0000000000 TITIAN. ococooo0 PRIVATE COLLECTION.
VENUS AND ADONIS.
Ovid, in his Metamorphoses, relates that Adonis inspired Venus with so ardent a love, that the goddess, who, until then, had only aitended to the care of her beauty, and to decking herself, lest the abodes of Cytherea and of Paphos to cross the rocks and mountains, and constantly follow the youth whom she so tenderly loved. But the affection of Adonis was not equal to that of Venus : his ardour for the chase was unbounded, while the goddess, overpowered by fatigue, had need of repose. She therefore consented to let Adonis go alone to the chase : « But at least, said she to him , display your dexterity only against the beasts that avoid the huntsman, and never attack those to which nature has given arms to defend themselves : do not expose your life, for the glory that you might acquire thereby, would cause me too much anxiety.»
Titian, in this picture, has represented the moment when the goddess of beauty is yet endeavouring to detain the lover whom she is to meet no more,
and her countenance seenis to indicate this sad presentiment. As to the head of Adonis, it is the likeness of Philip II, King of Spain, wbo was then very young, and for whom this picture was made. The colouring is very vigorous, and gives a lotty idea of Titian's talent.
This picture has been engraved by Strange : it formed part of M. Angerstein's collection, the whole of which has been ceded, by that amateur, to the British National Gallery.
Width, 6 feet 2 inches; height, 5 feet 9 inches.