Two amours, or loves, are seen in the painting of Venus, which depicts the goddess cushioned not only on velvet drapery but also on the waves of the sea. According to the Greek poet, Hesiod, Venus was born from the foam produced by the genitals of the castrated Uranus when they were cast into the sea. She floated ashore on a scallop shell accompanied by dolphins, which are also represented in the picture. Venus probably formed part of a decorative ensemble (with P411), of the type Boucher produced in the 1750s and 1760s. The paintings betray something of the repetitive nature of his later decorations, painted when he was obliged to rely on studio assistance to meet the demand for his work. They were acquired as a pair and listed as such in the 1890 Hertford House inventory.
Where to see this painting?
The Wallace Collection
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