closed Venus. Nature, shadow and beauty

Curated by: Claudia Cieri Via

The show

With Venus. Nature, shadow and beauty curated by Claudia Cieri Via, the third stage of the Divine Venus exhibition opens from 12 September to 12 December 2021. Harmony on earth produced by the Palazzo Te Foundation.

An exhibition that makes use of a scientific committee composed of Stefano Baia Curioni, Francesca Cappelletti, Claudia Cieri Via and Stefano L'Occaso, and that through important international loans - from the Vatican Apostolic Library to the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels, from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid to the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna and many others - it is a unique opportunity to explore the different faces of the goddess that populated European and Italian art of the sixteenth century, showing their lights and shadows, their brilliance and fury, and retracing imaginaries and representations capable of exercising their charm up to the present day.

From Lucas Cranach to Peter Paul Rubens, from Roman coins to Books of Hours, from Dosso Dossi to Guercino, from Paris Bordon to Veronese, the Venus exhibition. Nature, shadow and beauty returns the mutability of the image of the goddess over a time span that goes from the second century to. C. to the seventeenth century.

Venus is a prismatic figure: she is born from the waters like celestial Venus, presides over the regeneration of nature like Venus spring; she is the wife of Vulcan, she is a lover of Mars and in love with Adonis, but above all the mother of the dangerous Cupid and with him a witness of unhappy loves, multiple values ​​that can be traced in the rooms of Palazzo Te.

The exhibition project, divided into nine sections, opens with examples of ancient statuary, which represent a celestial and intangible Venus symbol of perfect beauty and virtuous love, together with a precious example of Lucretius's De Rerum Natura that belonged to Pope Sixtus IV .

The path continues with other important illuminated manuscripts in which the goddess is the protagonist of fairy tales and myths about nature in which her powers and her stories materialize. The painting Venus and Mercury present Eros and Anteros del Veronese to Jupiter (Uffizi Galleries, Florence) portrays a Venus who presides over generation and amorous pleasures, a good nuptial omen. The Venus genetrix, also present in two of the ancient coins on display, oversees harmony with nature, a crucial aspect in the design of Renaissance villas.

Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Viale Te, 13
46100 Mantova


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