POUSSIN, Nicolas
(b. 1594, Les Andelys, d. 1665, Roma)

Venus Weeping over Adonis

Oil on canvas, 57 x 128 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Caen

In Venus Weeping over Adonis of 1626, the painter looks back to an antique statue of one of Niobe's children, who were killed by the arrows of Apollo and Diana to punish their mother after she had expressed her arrogant defiance of the gods. The figure selected by Poussin represents one of the sons who has already been slain, and who in terms of context as well as pose thereby offers a suitable model for Adonis, who has also been killed.