Peter Paul Rubens Influence On Venus And Adonis

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Peter Paul Rubens was a Flemish master of painting in the 17th-century. Rubens studied the works of Italian Renaissance and Baroque artists like Titian, Caravaggio, and Michelangelo. Rubens combined the styles of the Italian Renaissance and Italian Baroque to create a new innovative style that became internationally influential. Rubens had a great interest with the human body in action, which led him to copy the works of classical antiquity and of the Italian masters (Kleiner, 585-586). One such painting is Venus and Adonis. Titian’s depiction of the narrative was the influential factor for Rubens work. The painting is oil on canvas, and is quite large (77 ¾” x 95 5/8”) and was painted around 1635-1637. “The subject of the painting is from…show more content…
His left leg is ready to leave, while his right leg is firmly planted as if he will accept Venus’s embrace and heed her warning. Adonis was originally painted with a somber face that would be consistent with the dramatic emotions Rubens’ liked to paint on his figures, but was later changed to indifference to look more like Titian’s painting (The Metropolitan Museum of Art). Adonis is holding a spear for hunting, and a shofar or calling horn is attached at his waist. Adonis is draped in a red cloth which could symbolize the blood that he will shed or his approaching death. The red cloth could also symbolize the love and passion Adonis shares with Venus or the danger that lays ahead for the hunter. The red of Adonis’s clothes is also represented in the shoulder strap of Cupid’s bows and arrows. Cupid’s bow and arrows can be seen in the foreground near the goddess’s and Cupid’s feet. This object is there for the viewers as a reminder of Venus getting pricked and falling in love with Adonis. Venus and Cupid are glowing and have milky white skin that makes them stand out against the darker background. The white of their skin makes them ethereal and shows their divinity. Behind Venus and…show more content…
In both paintings, there is a lot of iconography and similar figures. Both painting show mythological figures, and some are repeated. Venus and Cupid are in both paintings and are painted consistently. Rubens’s Venus’ have blonde, hair that flows behind them. Even the texture of the hair seems the same: crimped or curly, partially in an up-do with flowers and jewels adorning it. Both Venus’ are nude and modestly draped in a cloth. In Venus and Adonis the cloth is white representing the sacrifice and mourning of her lover. In Consequences of War, Venus is draped in a red cloth representing the blood and death of war. This representation of red is still seen in Venus and Adonis, instead of on the goddess it is seen on Adonis. Rubens has his Venus dramatically embracing her lovers Adonis and Mars, trying to stop them either from war or death. Consequences of War is more energetic and dramatic—you can see more movement and feel the tension of war. The scene is very chaotic with Mars charging forward into battle with a dripping, bloody sword and shield who is embraced by a desperate Venus. Fury is pulling Mars to battle, Plague and Famine are present, and even a woman with a child are seen all representing the hardships of war (Lecture 8). Cupid is also a reoccurring figure in Rubens’s paintings. Cupid is depicted as a nude child with wings. In Venus and Adonis, Cupid clings to Adonis’s leg, one

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