The J. Paul Getty Museum

Venus at the Forge of Vulcan

Object Details

Title:

Venus at the Forge of Vulcan

Artist/Maker:

Francesco Solimena (Italian, 1657 - 1747)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

1704

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Object Number:

84.PA.64

Dimensions:

205.4 × 153.7 cm (80 7/8 × 60 1/2 in.)

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Object Description

Venus, the goddess of love, resplendent in a brilliant blue gown, looks down at a gold shield emblazoned with an image of Athena. Venus went to her husband Vulcan's forge and asked him to make arms for her son Aeneas. Here, the powerfully built Vulcan holds upright the shield intended for Aeneas, gestures to the armor at his feet, and looks up at his wife for her approval. In the lower left-hand corner are two Cyclopes who have made the armor under Vulcan's direction.

Francesco Solimena made a series of mythological paintings for the Procurator Canale in Venice. This canvas and its pendant, Tithonus Dazzled by the Crowning of Aurora, may commemorate a marriage, as both pictures show gifts exchanged between goddesses and their husbands.

Provenance
Provenance
about 1704 - still in 1742

Probably Gerolamo Canale, procuratore di San Marco (Venice, Italy), commissioned from the artist, about 1704.

by 1773 -

Pezzana Family (San Polo, Venice, Italy)

- 1870

Marie-Caroline de Bourbon-Sicile, duchesse de Berry, 1798 - 1870 (Paris, France; Venice, Italy; Brunsee, Austria), by inheritance to her son, Adinolfo Lucchesi-Palli, duke della Grazia, 1870.

1870 -

Adinolfo Lucchesi-Palli, duke della Grazia, 1840 - 1911 (Brunsee, Austria), by inheritance within the Lucchesi-Palli family.

- 1984

Lucchesi-Palli Family (Brunsee, Austria) [sold, Christie's, London, April 6, 1984, lot 63, to Matthiesen Fine Art Ltd.]

1984

Matthiesen Fine Art Ltd. (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
A Taste for Angels: Neapolitan Painting in North America 1650-1750 (September 9, 1987 to June 12, 1988)
  • Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven), September 9 to November 29, 1987
  • The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art (Sarasota), January 13 to March 13, 1988
  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City), April 30 to June 12, 1988
Bibliography
Bibliography

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De Dominici, Bernardo. Vite dei pittori, scultori ed architetti napoletani. 4 vols. (Naples: Tipografia Trani, 1840-46), vol. 4 (1846), p. 428.

Ceci, G. "Solimena, Francesco." In Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Hans Vollmer, ed. Vol. 31 (Leipzig: E. A. Seemann Verlag, 1937), p. 244.

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Herbert, John, and Mark Wrey, eds. Christie's Review of the Season (Oxford: Phaidon, 1984), p. 25, ill.

Bortolami, Ornella. "A proposito di alcune stampe di traduzione a Venezia e dipinti di Pietro Liberi, Antonio Balestra, Francesco Solimena." Arte veneta 38 (1984), pp. 175-76.

The ARTnewsletter 9, no. 18 (May 1, 1984), p. 3.

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Hersey, George, et al., eds. A Taste for Angels: Neapolitan Painting in North America, 1650-1750, exh. cat. (New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1987), pp. 197-202, no. 23, ill., entry by Carmen Bambach Cappel, George Hersey, and Sheila O'Connell.

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Spinosa, Nicola, ed. Francesco Solimena (1657 - 1747) e le Arti a Napoli (Rome: Ugo Bozzi editore, 2018), vol. 2, pp. 150-51, under no. D43.

Romalli, Cristiana. "La maturità fino agli anni Trenta e il ritorno al neo-Barocco degli ultimi anni." In Francesco Solimena (1657 - 1747) e le Arti a Napoli. Nicola Spinosa, ed. (Rome: Ugo Bozzi editore, 2018), vol. 2, p. 49.

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