Thomas Willeboirts

The Death of Adonis

after 1642
Venus mourns her lover Adonis, mortally wounded by his quarry in the hunt, a wild boar. Bosschaert's generation looked to the older Rubens and van Dyck for inspiration, a taste shared across much of Europe. The style is courtly - graceful, even artificial. Tragedy is subservient to aesthetic pleasure, grief held in check by artifice: Adonis' broken body is posed elegantly, and for all the careful attention to the setting and props, the scene seems theatrical. Repetitions and variations of paintings were the stock-in-trade of any successful artist: this is one of several versions of a work first painted for Prince Frederick Henry of Orange.
Title
The Death of Adonis
Date
after 1642
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
144.4 x 191.2 cm
Nationality
Flemish
Credit line
Bequest of Norman MacKenzie, Regina, 1936
Accession number
4269