Venus and the Nymphs Lamenting the Death of Adonis

Artist: Luca Cambiaso (Italian, Moneglia 1527–1585 Madrid)

Date: 1560–65

Medium: Woodcut

Dimensions: Image: 10 1/16 × 11 5/8 in. (25.5 × 29.5 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Gift of Henry Walters, 1917

Accession Number: 17.37.33


Cambiaso represented the tale of Venus and Adonis in many of his paintings and drawings. A number of his designs also appear in woodcuts, which may have been created under his supervision. Here, Venus, in the company of the Graces, mourns her dead love, while amorini attack and trap the boar responsible for his death. Cambiaso's literary source was an anonymous Greek poem in which the boar, called to account by the goddess, claims that he only wanted to kiss the fair, white thigh of Adonis.