"Venus and Mars" by Botticelli

Painted around 1485, the painting was most likely commissioned to celebrate a marriage and was most likely a “spalliera,” or panel set into the wall of a room. A beautiful and alert Venus looks upon her sleeping lover Mars. Bees buzz around a hive just to the right of Mars’ head and mischievous satyrs play with Mars’ instruments of war threatening to wake him from his post-coital sleep (as suggested by his right hand.) The idea of women gazing upon beautiful men was thought to increase their chances of mothering healthy male children, which would continue the family line. Buona visione!


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