The meaning of the painting “Venus and Mars” by the famous Italian artist of the Renaissance period Sandro Botticelli, painted in 1483, is simple – the author wanted to show the audience the superiority of love over violence. The plot depicted in the painting “Venus and Mars” shows us two beautiful gods, Mars in the form of a young man who is fast asleep, covered by his cloak, and Venus in the form of a young girl who looks at Mars with a loving gaze, trying with all her might to keep his sleep …
In the work, Botticelli’s inspiration with classical images is noticeable, all the basic canons of Renaissance painting are observed, but the artist replaced the traditional cupids characteristic of paintings depicting lovers with cheerful and slightly lustful fauns or satyrs. These funny mythological creatures stole all the ammunition of sweetly sleeping Mars: spear, helmet, horn of Triton. And one hid in the armor of God and looks up at Venus, admiring her beauty unattainable for him.
The client of the painting “Venus and Mars”, however, like many other works by Sandro Botticelli, was the Vespucci family, known at that time in Italy. The reference to the customer is the wasps, shown in the upper right corner, also present on the family coat of arms of this family. The creation of this work was timed to coincide with the marriage of one of the family members, which determined the choice of the theme of the victory of Love. Only the goddess of love and beauty Venus can take the warlike Mars by surprise and completely disarm him.
The finished canvas was a resounding success, Sandro Botticelli’s painting Venus and Mars once again proved his outstanding artistic talent.
Year of painting: 1483. Dimensions: 173.4 x 69.2 cm. Material: panel. Writing technique: tempera. Genre: mythological painting. Style: early Renaissance. Gallery: National Gallery, London, UK.