barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


Domenico Beccafumi (1484 – 1551)

Reclining Nymph (Venus and Cupid)

Siena, about 1519

Oil on wood

71.7 x 13.8 cm

 

This panel formed part of the decoration of the bedchamber of Francesco Petrucci of Siena and his wife Caterina Piccolomini. 

It was used as the headboard of the bed.  The figure appears to be a water nymph, but she has also been identified as Venus in her role as goddess of love and fertility.  She is accompanied by Cupid who holds a whirligig, signalling his role as a jester. This panel, placed above the matrimonial bed and illustrating the theme of fertility, was complemented by other panels in the room. The other panels show a series of virtuous heroines and wives from antiquity.

 

Purchased 1962 (No.62.6)

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