Venus Weeping for Adonis (Poussin)

Venus Weeping for Adonis is a c.1625 oil on canvas painting by the French painter Nicolas Poussin. Painted after his relocation to Italy it is now part of the collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen.

Venus Weeping for Adonis
French: Vénus pleurant Adonis
Poussin - Vénus pleurant Adonis - musée de Caen.jpg
ArtistNicolas Poussin
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions57 cm × 128 cm (22 in × 50 in)
LocationMusée des Beaux-Arts de Caen, Caen

The painting depicts the goddess Venus mourning the death of her mortal lover Adonis after he was gored by a boar whilst hunting. She is pouring nectar onto his wounds after which a scarlet anemone flower would spring up from his blood to his permanent memory. The nearby chariot is reminiscent of Pluto, representing a symbol of death. The two doves perched thereon are attributes of Venus.[1]

The story of Venus and Adonis, as narrated in Ovid's Metamorphoses, was a popular subject in Baroque times as an allegory for death and rebirth and had parallels with the Christian belief in Christ's resurrection. In the painting Adonis' posture is reminiscent of the crucified Christ and Venus' actions akin to those of Saint Mary.

The work found its way into the French royal collection before being sent to Caen.


  1. ^ "Master of the French Baroque: Nicolas Poussin Venus and Adonis" (PDF). Gillian Robbins. Retrieved 19 August 2020.