Oil on canvas, 183cm by 143.5cm.
The painting depicts the goddess Venus begging the beautiful mortal Adonis not to leave on the chase, fearful for his safety.
It was purchased by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), in 1683/4 whilst on his second Grand Tour, although it is not recorded in the 1688 Burghley Inventory and first appears in that of 1763.
The artist was born in Palermo, but spent most of his working life in Rome.
Initially, he joined the large and prolific studio of Carlo Maratta (1625-1713), later working with Giuseppe Passeri (1654-1714).
He painted frescoes in both secular and religious buildings, as well as several altarpieces.