European Art, 1400-1800 - 8 of 9

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Vulcan Presenting Arms to Venus for Aeneas  by François Boucher

François Boucher
French, 1703-1770
Vulcan Presenting Arms to Venus for Aeneas
Oil on canvas
41.2 x 45.3 cm
Acquired by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in memory of Talcott M. Banks, Jr., (Trustee 1950-77, President 1966-77), 1983

This oil sketch served as a study for one of a series of tapestries designed by Boucher devoted to the loves of mythological gods. The tapestries were commissioned by the Marquis de Marigny, King Louis XV's minister of arts and the original owner of the Clark sketch. The swirling composition centers on Venus, who is surrounded by clouds, cupids, white doves, and bunches of flowers. She has arrived at Vulcan’s forge to collect the arms he has made for her son Aeneas. Cyclopes are seen in the distance hammering the hot iron, while Vulcan reclines in the foreground.