60
60
Luca Giordano, called Luca Fa Presto
VENUS AT VULCAN'S FORGE
Estimate
200,000300,000
JUMP TO LOT
60
Luca Giordano, called Luca Fa Presto
VENUS AT VULCAN'S FORGE
Estimate
200,000300,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Master Paintings Evening Sale

|
New York

Luca Giordano, called Luca Fa Presto
VENUS AT VULCAN'S FORGE
signed on the rock lower center: .LG. (in ligature)
oil on canvas
70 1/8  by 89 7/8  in.; 180 by 228.3 cm.
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Catalogue Note

The subject of this grand composition is taken from Virgil’s Aeneid.  The scene is set in the "underground cavern and galleries leading from [Mount] Etna" on the island of Sicily, the location of Vulcan's forge, as described in the Aeneid (8.370-453). Here, Vulcan-- the god of fire and metalworking—engages in discourse with his wife Venus as he and his workers create what will become arms that she will later give to her mortal son Aeneas. At Venus’ side is Cupid, who clings to her for protection amidst the fire and cacophony of sound.  Giordano envisaged this story on other occasions, though more often choosing to illustrate the story as told in Ovid’s Metamorphosis. In that telling Venus commits adultery with Mars, following which Vulcan discovers his wifes transgressions and ultimately catches her with a fine gold woven net.

Both the present example and the more commonly depicted version of the story, see for example the canvas in the National Gallery of Ireland, are both treated with Giordano’s signature warm coloring and free, loose brushwork. As with the National Gallery canvas, this work can be dated to Giordano's early maturity, circa 1655-1660. By this point in his career, Giordano had moved away from emulating the heavily Neapolitan technique of his teacher Jusepe de Ribera, and begun to incorporate the lush coloring and rapid paint application made popular by Titian and, later, Peter Paul Rubens. 

We are grateful to Giuseppe Scavizzi for endorsing the attribution to Giordano, based on photographs.

Master Paintings Evening Sale

|
New York