ALBANI, Francesco
(b. 1578, Bologna, d. 1660, Bologna)

Summer (Venus in Vulcan's Forge)

1616-17
Oil on canvas, diameter 154 cm
Galleria Borghese, Rome

Francesco Albani, an exponent of the classical ideal, chose a format for his four tondos which, in his own words, "softened" his pictorial expression. The subject matter is taken from Philostratus (Eikones I,6) who describes the games of cupids throughout the four seasons: throwing apples in spring, the fiery furnace of summer, Venus and Adonis taking their farewell in autumn and sleep in winter.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 10 minutes):
Vivaldi: Concerto in G minor RV 315 op. 8. No. 2 (Summer)