(b. 1548, Venezia, d. 1628, Venezia)

Venus and Cupid at Vulcan's Forge

c. 1610
Oil on canvas, 115 x 167 cm
Staatliche Museen, Kassel

In the Aeneid, the Roman poet Virgil tells how Venus, the goddess of love, visits Vulcan's forge to obtain for her son Aeneas the invincible arms that only this god could make. In the foreground we see the recumbent Venus in a tender embrace with Cupid, hinting at the night of love that would be granted Vulcan in recompense. In the background, the blacksmith god and his labourers work on the weapons.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 4 minutes):
Francesco Gasparini: The Meddlesome Cupid, aria