Venus and Cupid in a Landscape

Jacopo Palma il Vecchio (Italian, 1480-1528)
c. 1515
Oil on canvas 
35 x 65-3/4 in. (88.9 x 167.0 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Jennifer Jones Simon 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
On View

Palma il Vecchio shared, with Giorgione and Titian, the honor of modernizing and regenerating Venetian painting. Palma specialized in portrayals of women, showing them clothed and unclothed in half-length and recumbent poses. These were created expressly for private clients. Venus and Cupid in a Landscape illustrates this sensual side of Palma's art. The figure of Cupid was painted over sometime in the painting's history and was uncovered during restoration in the 1970s. The precise delineation of the flora and fauna and the cool blue tones of the landscape suggest that Palma was farmiliar with the works of Northern artists. The warm flesh tones and pale shadows of the monumental, sedate Venus serve as a sensuous foil to the sharply observed landscape.


Donaldson, sold May 1911 to;
Julius Böhler, Munich, and Stein, (stock nos. 11822 and 1329), sold March 1916 to;
Marczell von Nemes, Budapest and Munich.
Captain and Mrs. Folke Sandström, Stockholm, by 1959.
Lennart Akerblom, Göteborg, Sweden, by 1962 (sale, Göteborg, Auktionsverk, 23 March 1976, lot 334, ill., as circle of Palma il Vecchio, to);
Norton Simon, N.76.12.P., bequest 1993 to;
Jennifer Jones Simon Art Trust, gift 1996 to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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