Swanevelt, Herman van
Venus Laments the Death of Adonis (No. 6 in a series of 6: “The Story of Adonis”)
Travelling to Italy around 1629, Herman van Swanevelt moved in the same artistic circles as Claude Lorrain (around 1604-1682), and developed a similarly classical style of landscape. He settled in France after 1641. In contrast to the rough everyday Italianate genre scenes favoured by artists such as the Bamboccianti, he pursued an idyllic, ordered landscape style with structured tonal depth and clarity of form. In both these prints, published in Paris, Swanevelt invokes an ancient paradise populated by myth and bucolic themes. Venus' fervid grief is subordinate to her vast, calm forest setting. Similarly, in La grande cascade, an ordered landscape is populated by Arcadian shepherds who blend into an idyllic countryside with waterfall and tranquil trees.