Mars and Venus United by Love

Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari) Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 608

The love between Mars, the god of war, and Venus, the goddess of love, is encouraged by a meddlesome pair of cupids. One ties the couple together, while his co-conspirator restrains Mars’s warhorse. The painting celebrates the civilizing and nurturing effects of love, as milk flows from Venus’s breast and Mars is disarmed. A brilliant colorist, Veronese amplifies the sensuality of the subject through his lush palette. Works such as this had an enduring impact on later artists including Velázquez and Giambattista Tiepolo. Possibly commissioned by Emperor Maximilian II, the painting was owned by Emperor Rudolf II in Prague by 1621, along with other mythological works by the artist.

#5177. Mars and Venus United by Love

Mars and Venus United by Love, Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari) (Italian, Verona 1528–1588 Venice), Oil on canvas

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