Oil on canvas, 40 x 31.5 inch
Appearing on the antique market correctly attributed to Giuseppe Bezzouli, this painting represents an important addition to the knowledge of the early activity of this Tuscan artist most famed and celebrated for the Romantic turn he impressed on art which in Florence, first Napoleonic and then Lorrainese, was principally dominated by the Neoclassical authority of Piero Benvenuti. In any case, the vivid sketched profile of this Adonis still owes much to the canon of “ideal beauty” taught in the Academy and allows in fact significant comparison with the Narcissus (1815-1817) of Benvenuti.
Also in the Bezzuoli painting the young Adonis is drawn on a path with studied atmosphere which underscores, in the colors of the breaking dawn, the pure nude form based on ancient models arriving in modern times via the moderation of Reni and Domenichino, and as such rendered more abstract by the exercise of analogy imposed by the “classicist canon” which Benevenuti dictated to his pupils.
Excerpt of the expertise by prof. Carlo Sisi in the catalogue of the exhibition “Metamorphosis of the Nude”, 2019.