Offered by Art & Antiquities Investment
Oil on canvas.
In an Arcadian landscape where the distances invite to travel, Marcantonio Franceschini, follower of mythological subjects, invites us in the episode of the birth of Adonis narrated precisely by Hygin in his Fabulae in the 1st century BC, and by Ovid who l 'inscribed in his Metamorphoses and which offers a more poetic reading.
Our composition, with elegant classical academism, places the protagonists in front of the viewer. Franceschini thus renders all the sweetness of the moment and brings to mind a scene full of emotion.
Barely brought into the world by Myrrha, her mother transformed into a tree, "the most beautiful of infants ... so beautiful that it could even please the eyes of Envy" (Ovid, Metamorphoses) is greeted by an assembly of naiads, fauns and cupids.
Diana who here becomes Diane Lucina or Lucine (divinity who presides over the deliverance of mothers and the birth of children), carries it delicately.
Faced with success, Franceschini deals with this theme on several occasions: in addition to our painting, we find the same composition at the Dresden State Museum (oil on copper 48 x 69 cm), at the Palazzo Durazzo Pallavicini in Genoa (oil on canvas in a larger format) and a more vertical monumental variant at the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna (480 x 256 cm, from the series of 26 paintings commissioned by Prince Johann Adam I of Liechtenstein on the loves of Diana and Venus).
We have chosen to present this work to you in an elegant French frame in gilded and black carved wood from the Louis XIV period.
Dimensions: 48 x 66 cm - 67 x 85 cm with the frame.
Sold with invoice and certificate of expertise.
The Birth of Adonis: Myrrha, daughter of Cinyras, Cypriot king, falls in love with her father and unwittingly seduces him by using cunning. In the dark, the couple spend many nights together, until the king, breaking the blanket of darkness, lights up the lover's face and recognizes his daughter. Discovered, Myrrha flees in the middle of the night.
The gods, taking pity for her, transform her into a tree with a hideous aspect and precious resin. Indeed, for nine moons, Adonis, the fruit of incestuous love, periodically emitted fragrant tears: myrrh with an intense, warm and sensual scent. Adonis will be freed through a slit made in the bark by Lucine, god of childbirth among the Romans.
Marcantonio Franceschini (Bologna 05.04.1648 - Id. 24.12.1729) is a Bolognese history painter whose works, highly appreciated in European courts, adorn many churches and palaces (Ducal Palace of Modena, Ducal Palace of Genoa , Liechtenstein Palace in Vienna, etc.).
After an apprenticeship in the studio of Giovanni Maria Galli dit Bibiena (1618 - 1665), he became a key collaborator of Carlo Cignani (1628 - 1719) until 1683, when he founded his own studio in Bologna. A prolific painter, each of his works is listed in a notebook kept at the Biblioteca Comunale dell’Archiginnasio in Bologna.
Art historian Rudolf Wittkower called him the "Bolognese Maratta", the Bolognese Maratta.