(b. ca. 1550, s'Hertogenbosch, d. 1620, München)

Venus and Mars with Cupid

Bronze, height 210 cm
Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich

Augsburg was a long way behind Nuremberg until the Fuggers renewed their patronage of the arts around 1580. Their castle of Kirschheim was ornamented with an altar by Vittoria and especially by the works of Hubert Gerhard. They comprised a mantelpiece, bronze ornaments for the fountain of Mars and Venus, and a dense bronze on a base bordered by fantastic terms (1590). Gerhard returns to the composition of Vincenzo de' Rossi's seated couple, emphasizing the sensual play of intertwined limbs, the slow rhythm of knotted curves and expressive passion.

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