CESARI, Giuseppe
(b. 1568, Arpino, d. 1640, Roma)

Venus and Cupid

Oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm
Private collection

This boldly coloured and highly sensual Venus and Cupid belongs to a group of easel pictures with specifically "eroto-mythological" subject matter, which the artist produced early in his career, from circa 1600.

The subject of Venus and Cupid is one of the most often repeated in Italian painting, though despite its established place in pictorial iconography, the sexually explicit overtones of this picture belie the commonality of the subject. Despite its firmly established place in the tradition of mythological imagery, Cesari takes the sexual nature of the scene to an unprecedented level.

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