(b. 1600, Paris, d. 1638, Paris)

Venus and Adonis

Oil on canvas, 128 x 136 cm
Private collection

The subject of the painting is taken from Ovid and illustrates the moment that the goddess, begging Adonis not to leave her for the hunt, knowing that he will never return, entreats a kiss from her reluctant and very mortal lover.

The picture illustrates Blanchard's mastery of texture, both in drapery, and flesh tones. Here we see the painter's great admiration of and debt to his Venetian experience: the strongly baroque rhythm of interlocking limbs is characteristic of the Venetian school, but was achieved by only a few northern artists, Rubens being the most successful in this regard. It is interesting to note how similar Blanchard's Venus and Adonis is to Rubens's painting of the same subject, which he, in turn had based on Titian's picture in the Prado.