BOUCHER, François
(b. 1703, Paris, d. 1770, Paris)

Vulcan Presenting Arms to Venus for Aeneas

Oil on canvas, 56 x 60 cm
The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown

In Virgil's epic Aeneid, Venus seduces Vulcan and persuades him to forge weapons for her son Aeneas. Boucher's painting shows Vulcan offering the goddess a sword; at his feet are two putti playing with a plumed helmet, and behind him are a shield and armour.

This work was a preliminary sketch for a tapestry design - one of a set commissioned from four different artists by the marquis de Marigny, an influential arts administrator under King Louis XV.