Venus, Cupid and Mercury, by Benedetto Luti (1666-1724).

Oil on canvas, 42cm by 34.5cm.

The painting is in the 1763 Burghley Inventory which records: ‘The Japan Closet…Mercury instructing Cupid Carlo Lutti.’

The Florentine-born Luti moved to Rome where he became a successful artist.

He painted in oils, but was also the first artist to create portraiture in pastels, which brought him to the attention of Cosimo III de Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany who became a patron.

Luti also ran a school of drawing and worked as an art dealer.


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