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The Triumph of Venus
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Alessandro Magnasco
Italian, about 1720 - 1730
Oil on canvas
46 1/2 x 58 1/2 in.
78.PA.2

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At the right, Venus, the goddess of love, rides in a processional chariot, assisted by blindfolded putti. Nymphs, satyrs, and other figures run, blow trumpets, or lie in languid poses on the ground. In the background, ghost-like figures swirl or lounge in front of an eerie landscape. Alessandro Magnasco painted his figures with nervous brushstrokes, adding an electric energy to the uninhibited revelry taking place amid elaborate ancient ruins.

Magnasco probably painted this canvas and its pendant, Bacchanale, while in Milan early in his career. His collaborator Clemente Spera probably painted the architectural views.