Completed during Francisco Goya's time in Italy, this work is among a set of paintings designed for a quick sale to help the artist remain on Italian soil.
It depicts a scene from classical mythology, specifically Ovid's Metamorphoses, which tells the story of the goddess Venus's love for the handsome Adonis. The moment shown is when Venus finds Adonis's body lying dead after a wild boar attack during a hunt.
This iconography was used by artists of such standing as Titian, Rubens, and Poussin, and inspired by the 1732 work with the same title by Giaquinto at the Villa della Regina in Turin.
It follows classic models of composition and style in line with Roman Classicism, with some use of Baroque solutions.