REYNOLDS, Sir Joshua
(b. 1723, Plympton Earl, d. 1792, London)

Cupid Untying the Zone of Venus

Oil on canvas, 128 x 101 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Reynolds reproduced his earlier work A Nymph and Cupid (Tate Gallery, London) in this commission for Lord Carysfort. The title change is evidence that both paintings are variations on a mythological theme. (Zone is an old-fashioned word for girdle.) The model for the nymph-like Venus was likely the celebrated Emma hart, who was later the wife of Sir William Hamilton (the British ambassador to Naples) and mistress of Admiral Lord Nelson.

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