Study of Venus at Rest, Annibale Carracci
Annibale Carracci
Study of Venus at Rest
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Related external works

Realisation

Annibale Carracci, Vénus endormie avec des amours, Öl auf Leinwand. Chantilly, Musée Condé, Inv. Nr. PE 63

Reference

Römische Kopie nach hellenistischem Original des 2. Jahrhunderts v. Chr. (Schule von Pergamon), Schlafende Ariadne, Marmor. Rom, Città del Vaticano, Musei Vaticani, Museo Pio Clementino, Inv. Nr. 548

Part of the same work group

Annibale Carracci, Studie zu einer ruhenden Venus (Entwurf mit einer Schar spielender Eroten). Windsor Castle, Royal Library, Inv. Nr. 2127

Annibale Carracci

Study of Venus at Rest, ca. 1602


Blatt
278 x 378 mm
Inventory Number
4060
Object Number
4060 Z
Acquisition
Acquired before 1862
Status
Can be presented in the study hall of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)

Texts

About the Work

This study drawing was produced in preparation for a large painting showing the sleeping Venus and playing cherubs (now in the Musée Condé, Chantilly) which Annibale Carracci created in 1602 to decorate the private apartments of Cardinal Odoardo Farnese (1573-1626). Probably inspired by paintings by Titian in his own collection, the Cardinal commissioned, in addition to the 'Venus', the design of extensive decorations with erotic mythological scenes. Carracci had previously created the large ceiling fresco in the Galleria Farnese at the Palazzo Farnese in Rome for the same client. Prompting a modern renewal of the classical painting of the age of Raphael, it had considerable influence on the art of the seventeenth century.

On the large sheet of blue paper, Carracci first sketched the outlines of the sleeping Venus in black chalk and then modelled her voluptuous body by rubbing the black and white chalk. Next he outlined the figure in ink. Pausing repeatedly, the outline intended not as the curvaceous, decorative beauty of a Mannerist contour, but to serve as a support for the three-dimensional volume. The sensuous physicality, worked out in this way, is heightened by the position of the sleeping Venus's arm - here, Carracci was following the example of a famous sculpture of antiquity, the 'Sleeping Ariadne' (now in the Vatican collections). The left arm, laid above her head, reveals the body, while the right hand has been returned to her breast. This gesture may have been considered too erotic, because in both the subsequent pen-and-ink studies at top right and left, Carracci considered alternative positions. Of interest are the two autograph signatures, which indicate the importance the artist attached to his drawings and perhaps even reflect the practice among art dealers of cutting up such study sheets in order to sell them individually.

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Study of Venus at Rest
Draughtsman
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Material
Technique
Geographic Reference
Production Reason
Captions Added Later
Bezeichnet oben links (mit der Feder in Braun): Annib Caracci // An. Carracci; unten rechts (mit der Feder in Schwarz): 30
Verso Stempel des Städelschen Kunstinstituts, Frankfurt am Main (Lugt 2356), mit zugehöriger Inventarnummer
Watermark
  • Vorhanden

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Picture Copyright
© Städel Museum, Foto: U. Edelmann
Acquisition
Acquired before 1862

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif
Persons Shown
Associated Persons and Institutions

Iconclass

Primary
  • 92C451 Venus asleep
  • 92C454 Venus and Cupid (Cupid not being mere attribute)
  • 31AA2361 lying on the back with uplifted upper part of the body - AA - female human figure
Secondary

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Last import

16.09.2019