Venus Giving Arms to Aeneas, 1704
Jean Cornu (French, 1650–1710)
Terracotta and painted wood; H. 41 9/16 in. (108 cm)
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931 (32.100.158)
The later reign of Louis XIV witnessed a veritable explosion of theatrical Baroque sculptural groups devoted to the retelling of classical myths. In an episode taken from Virgil's Aeneid, the goddess Venus descends from the skies to present her son, the Trojan prince Aeneas, with a spectacular set of armor. As an addition to the story, Cupid, half-brother of Aeneas, raises the shield.