• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2769

    Old Master Pictures and Drawings

    14 November 2007, Amsterdam

  • Lot 150

    Attributed to Joachim Wtewael (Utrecht 1566-1638)

    Venus and Adonis in a landscape with Cupid by their side

    Price Realised  


    Attributed to Joachim Wtewael (Utrecht 1566-1638)
    Venus and Adonis in a landscape with Cupid by their side
    oil on panel
    39.2 x 58.8 cm.

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The subject of Venus and Adonis is drawn from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' (Book X, lines 532-9 and 705-9). In Ovid's tale, the story of Venus and Adonis is recounted by Orpheus to an audience of animals and birds. Adonis, child of King Cinyras of Paphos and his daughter Myrrha, was renowned from childhood for his unequalled beauty and the Goddess of Love conceived an overwhelming passion for him, following a chance scratch she received from Cupid's arrow. The story of Venus' passion for the young Adonis was a favorite episode for European artists.

    Lowenthal (op. cit., 1986) considers the present picture either a second version of Wtewael's Venus and Adonis of circa 1607-10, once in Schlangenbad, Kunstgalerie Hohenbuchau (see op. cit., 1986, p. 122, no. A-47) or a period copy.

    Special Notice

    Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €5,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €5,001 and €400,000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €400,001. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.


    Possibly Johan Pater and Antonietta Pater-Wtewael, Utrecht, up to 1655. Probably Isaac Goudeket (1882-1943), as J. Rottenhammer.
    Probably looted by the Nazi authorities, 1942-3.
    in the custody of the Dutch Government.
    Restituted in March 2007 to the heirs of Isaac Goudeket.


    A.W. Lowenthal, 'Wtewael's Moses and Dutch Mannerism', in Studies in the History of Art, 6, 1974, p. 137, fig. 13, as Joachim Wtewael.
    C. Wright, Paintings in Dutch Museums. An Index of Oil Paintings in Public Collections in The Netherlands by Artists born before 1870, London, 1980, p. 28.
    A.W. Lowenthal, Joachim Wtewael and Dutch Mannerism, Doornspijk, 1986, p. 160, no. B-1, fig. 136, under problematical attributions.
    Old Master Paintings: An illustrated summary catalogue, Rijksdienst Beeldende Kunst (The Netherlandish Office for the Fine Arts), The Hague, 1992, p. 324, fig. 2891, as Joachim Wtewael?.
    R.E.O. Ekkart et al, Herkomst gezocht. Deelrapportage IV, 2002, pp. 276-7, no. NK3424.