Venus removing a thorn from her left foot while seated on a cloth next to trees, a hare lower right

Artist: Marco Dente (Italian, Ravenna, active by 1515–died 1527 Rome)

Artist: After Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio or Santi) (Italian, Urbino 1483–1520 Rome)

Date: ca. 1515–27

Medium: Engraving

Dimensions: Sheet (Trimmed): 10 7/16 × 6 7/8 in. (26.5 × 17.4 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Bequest of Grace M. Pugh, 1985

Accession Number: 1986.1180.213


This print depicts one of the compositions Raphael designed for the stufetta (bathroom) of Cardinal Bibbiena in the Vatican. The small room was richly ornamented all’antica, with grotesques and scenes representing Venus. Dente’s engraving relates to a fresco that no longer survives. Venus is shown removing a thorn from her foot, which, according to legend, caused blood to drip onto a white rose, coloring the flower red. The engraving’s rich and varied landscape, which was not part of Raphael’s original design, relies heavily on the rendering of nature in Albrecht Dürer’s engravings.