Lovers (Venus and Adonis ?) in a landscape

Date:
late 16th century
Culture:
Italian, Milan
Medium:
Sardonyx
Dimensions:
Overall: 15/16 x 1 1/4 in. (2.4 x 3.2 cm); visible cameo: 24.3 x 32.6 x 12.7 mm
Classification:
Lapidary Work-Gems
Credit Line:
The Milton Weil Collection, 1938
Accession Number:
38.150.19
Not on view
The lovers’ entwined legs (and the presence of Cupid) imply amorous attachment, while their arms—hers restraining, his gesticulating—denote conflict, as Venus entreats Adonis not to go after the wild boar that will be the cause of his death. But Adonis, hound at his side, is on the point of willful departure. The sophisticated atmospherism, relayed in myriad browns and grays, shows awareness of Alessandro Masnago’s work (see 38.150.33).
Milton Weil (until 1938; to MMA)