Style Louis XVI / Ref.10257
"Venus Asks Vulcan to Cast Arms for Her Son Aeneas" - Louis XVI period overmantel in carved wood
Width: 58'' ⅝ 149cm
Height: 93'' ¾ 238cm
Depth: 2'' 5cm
18th Century, France
In very good condition.
Rare Louis XVI style and period overmantel in carved wood, with a modern gilding. The upper part is decorated with a garland of flowers. Both sides are sculpted in form of pilasters, with roses, ribbons, quiver, sword, spear, helmet and griffin. A perl friez fram an oil on canvas figuring "Venus Asks Vulcan to Cast Arms for Her Son Aeneas" and an original mercury mirror.
In Roman mythology, Vulcan (1) and Venus (2) form a very asymmetrical couple : the god of smithy, very ugly and the goddess of love, a true beauty. This strange union is due to Jupiter (3), god of gods and father of Vulcan, who wanted to please his son and gave him in matrimony, the most beautiful woman of Olympus. This gift was not only the fruit of his paternal love, as the god of thunder, he also needed him to continue to build his lightning. Unfortunately, Venus was unfaithful, especially with the god of war, Mars. Despite this, slave of his beauty, he will access all hers demands.
Here, she is asking Vulcan to forge weapons for her son Aeneas. Aeneas was Venus and Anchises son. In order to protect him during the Trojan War, she asked Vulcan to forged a shield for him.
The devotion of Vulcan towards Venus is represented in this overmantel. We see the Goddess taking in her hands the face of her husband, overcome by her beauty. He holds in his hands a chisel and hammer, to complete the shield of Aeneas, placed on his knees.
Notes: - (1) Hephaestus in Greek Mythology - (2) Aphrodite in Greek Mythology - (3) Zeus in Greek Mythology - (4) This story is counted in Canto VIII of the Aeneid of Virgil.
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