JACOB VAN LOO | VENUS AND ADONIS
Property from Fergus Hall, London
JACOB VAN LOO
Sluis 1614 - 1670 Paris
VENUS AND ADONIS
signed lower left: I.V.Loo
oil on canvas
unframed: 58 x 47.6 cm.; 22⅞ x 18¾ in.
framed: 77.2 x 67 cm.; 30⅜ x 26⅜ in.
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The canvas has a firm lining, the paint surface is clean and the varnish is clear and even. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals small, scattered retouchings around the margins and along the stretcher mark, and pin-prick sensitively executed retouchings scattered in Venus' neck, torso, white drapery and left foot. There are also minuscule, few scattered retouchings in the figure of Adonis. The vast majority of the central image remains untouched however, and the painting is in overall good condition and ready to hang in its current state.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Private collection, Switzerland;
Anonymous sale, Lucerne, Fischer, 26 November 2014, lot 1028.
"This is a beautiful picture, which reveals Van Loo’s unabashed delight in depicting rich textures such as the blue and russet fabrics and the gorgeous bling of Venus’ gilded chariot. Yet these are homely Dutch Gods and Heroes in a pellucid Dutch sylvan setting."
The subject of this painting derives from Book 10 of Ovid's Metamorphoses: Venus, goddess of love, having fallen passionately in love with Adonis, god of beauty and desire, warns him of the dangers of the hunt and begs him not to go (an episode famously depicted by Titian).1 Here, Van Loo depicts the moment at which Venus, with Cupid at her side, discovers Adonis lying slain by a wild boar, her worst fears confirmed. This painting exemplifies Van Loo's skill in depicting richly-coloured mythological scenes and sensual, classicised nudes – a talent that was recognised during the artist's own lifetime. The contemporary chronicler Arnoud Houbraken wrote that Van Loo excelled at ‘painting nudes, and female nudes in particular’.2
It is not known who taught Van Loo to paint, but it is likely that he trained in Amsterdam, where he certainly was by 1642 and where he remained until 1660, when he fled to Paris, following a fatal altercation with a wine merchant.
2 A. Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, Amsterdam, 1718–21 (rev. ed., The Hague 1753; reprinted, Amsterdam 1980), vol. 3, p. 172.