Paris Bordone

Venus, Mars, and Cupid

118 x 151 cm; oil on canvas (FC 321)

The subject makes mythological references that were widely popular throughout the Renaissance courts: it represents Venus Mars and Cupid to convey the message of universal supremacy of Love over War, a recurring theme that even resurfaced as recently as the Hippy movement. The mid-ground is filled by rich luxuriant countryside, the vegetation, thick with shadows, shows a vocation that accompanied the long career of this great Venetian artist, who was appreciably influenced by the Tusco-Roman Mannerists, as can be seen here in the sinuous pose of the figures. The painting is generally accepted to be from between 1550 and 1560. The canvas, signed “O. PARIDIS
/ Bordono”, is in excellent condition, and restoration work done around 1984 liberated the painting from a repainted section that had been added to censor the low neckline of the goddess’s robes

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