“Venus and Adonis,” (after Titian, or his brother Orazio Vecellio), engraving,
Sir Robert Strange, Naples, 1762-79.
Venus loved Adonis, but could not stop him from leaving her to go hunting where she knew he would be killed by a stag. This was a popular mythological theme for royal patrons, such as King Philip II of Spain. The engraving after the Venetian artist Titian’s “Venus and Adonis” relates to a painting by Titian now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sir Robert Strange (1721-92), a Scottish gentleman artist, produced many such engravings after Renaissance and Baroque paintings, and was even invited to live in the Vatican palace while he copied sculpture and paintings in the Vatican Museum.