- Museum number
Death of Adonis; lying at the foot of a tree, a nude woman leaning over him and putti behind, a boar and hunting dogs behind at right
Pen and brown ink, grey wash, over black chalk, squared for transfer
- Production date
- 1698 (circa)
Height: 237 millimetres
Width: 169 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Francesco Petrucci in his Gaulli monograph dates the related painting, his no. D79, to circa 1698-1699 as it and its pendant, 'Venus imploring Adonis not to go hunting', still at Burghley House seen to have been acquired in Rome by John Cecil, 5th Earl of Exeter's, on his final visit to Rome in 1699. The paintings are not listed in the 1688 inventory of Burghley House, only in 1738.
Lit.: N. Turner, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Roman Baroque Drawings', London, 1999, I, no. 112; F. Petrucci, 'Baciccio, Giovanni Battista Gaulli 1639-1709', Rome, 2009, no. D79.2, p. 632
A squared-up study for the picture, datable 1680-85, is in the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, Ohio (Enggass, 1964, p. 133, fig.43); the picture itself was painted as a companion to 'Adonis Bidding Farewell to Venus' at Burghley House, near Stamford (Spear, 1966, p. 101, fig. 2; Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and elsewhere, 1995, pp. 74-7, no. 18.). There are only minor differences of detail between drawing and painting, for example in the position of the left arm of Adonis and in the omission from the painting of the drapery billowing over Venus's back. These changes, as Spear has suggested (1968(b), p. 38), were probably carried out directly on the canvas.
Another, earlier compositional study showing the wounded Adonis on his own is in the Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf (Graf, 1976,1, no. 252), as is a pen-and-wash study for some of the putti (Graf, 1976, I, no. 253).
Literature: Brugnoli, 1956, p. 29; Enggass, 1964, pp. 112-13, n. 87; Heinzl, 1966, p. 20, no. 30 (for the possible Luti provenance); Spear, 1966, pp. 99-104, 106-7, 109-10 and fig. 3; Oberlin, 1967, p.83, under no.12, and p. 98 (repr.); Enggass, 1967, p. 188; Spear, 1968(b), p. 38, n.4; Graf, 1976, I, p.99, under nos 252-3, and p. 196; Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and elsewhere, 1995, pp. 74-7, under no. 18.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: FAWK,5211.71