Venus Giving Arms to Aeneas

Artist: Jean Cornu (French, Paris 1650–1710 Lisieux)

Date: 1704

Culture: French, Paris

Medium: Terracotta and painted wood

Dimensions: H. 41-9/16 in. (108 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931

Accession Number: 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.