Venus and Adonis oil on canvas 187 x 132.6cm (73 5/8 x 52 3/16in).
PROVENANCE: The Collection of Henry Boot of Sheffield From whom purchased by Ellis of Sheffield From whom purchased in the mid-1940s by the family of the present owner
The son of a Flemish farmer, after initiating his studies in Ghent, Paelinck left for Paris in 1802, where he was admitted into the studio of Jacques-Louis David. In 1808 he was commissioned to paint a portrait of the Empress Josephine (now in Ghent Museum voor Schone Kunsten) and in the same year the town of Ghent granted him an allowance for four years of study in Rome. There, alongside other former pupils of David, he took part in the decoration of the Palazzo del Quirinale. In 1812 he returned to Ghent and in 1815 moved to Brussels, where he painted a portrait of William, Prince of Orange (Brussels, Hôtel de Ville). The present painting would most likely fit with the group of lighter mythological subjects which the artist began working on in 1820, such as Eros and Beautiful Anthea (both Ghent Museum voor Schone Kunsten). Another work from this period that was heavily influenced by David is his Toilet of Psyche (1823, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum).