(b. ca. 1490, Correggio, d. 1534, Correggio)

Venus and Cupid with a Satyr

Oil on canvas, 190 x 124 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

This painting is probably the companion-piece of The Education of Cupid in the National Gallery, London. It shows a lustful satyr uncovering Venus sleeping in sensuous abandon on the ground. She represents the Terrestrial Venus' of carnal passion. In the National Gallery canvas, a winged Venus and Mercury unite in instructing Cupid, as married lovers educate their offspring or the benevolent planets which these divinities personify influence children born under their zodiacal signs. This 'Celestial Venus', however, appears no less desirable than her earthly Parisian sister.

The painting is sometimes erroneously called The Sleep of Antiope.

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