Venus and Mars Embracing as Vulcan Works at His Forge

Enea Vico Italian
After Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola) Italian

Not on view

The beautiful Venus was oddly matched to the lame blacksmith Vulcan (the Greek Hephaistos), a virtuosic metalworker who forged Cupid's potent arrows as well as the elaborate armor of the gods and heroes. When the smith learned of his wife's long-running love affair with Mars (the Greek Ares), he retaliated by fashioning a net of iron so fine that it could not be seen and laying it over a bed to trap the lovers in an embrace. This print seems to depict Vulcan crafting the invisible links, while Venus and Mars continue, oblivious to his presence.

Venus and Mars Embracing as Vulcan Works at His Forge, Enea Vico (Italian, Parma 1523–1567 Ferrara), Engraving

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