The Discovery of Mars and Venus

Accession Number
1969/2.158

Title
The Discovery of Mars and Venus

Artist(s)
Jacob Cornelisz Cobaert

Object Creation Date
1602-1621

Medium & Support
bronze

Dimensions
5 in. x 5 in. x 3/8 in. ( 12.7 cm x 12.7 cm x 1 cm )

Credit Line
The Paul Leroy Grigaut Memorial Collection

Label copy
March 28, 2009
Pictured on this plaquette, Vulcan, the god of fire in Greek and Roman mythology, springs a trap upon his unfaithful wife, the love goddess Venus. He sits straddling an anvil and pulls a finely woven net to ensnare Venus, who lies in the embrace of Mars, the god of war. Other figures, including several men laboring at a forge, appear in the background. The plaquette comes from a series depicting episodes from the Metamorphoses of Ovid, which were created by Cobaert after drawings by Guglielmo della Porta, in whose workshop Cobaert had worked. Like della Porta’s Deposition on view nearby, this piece testifies to the popularity and continued production of della Porta’s works after his lifetime.

Subject matter
This bronze plaquette depicts Vulcan, the god of fire in Greek and Roman mythology, springing a trap upon his wife Venus, whom he suspected of infidelity as recounted in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Vulcan sits at the left with an anvil between his legs and pulls a finely woven net to ensnare Venus who lays in the embrace of her lover Mars, the god of war. This plaquette comes from a series depicting episodes from the Metamorphoses that were created by Jacob Cornelisz. Cobaert after drawings by Guglielmo della Porta.

Physical Description
A nude man and woman recline together on the right side of this octagonal plaque. They lay upon the mesh of a net, which is being pulled by a nude male figure seated nearby next to an anvil. Behind the seated man appear two standing figures working at a brick forge. Another pair of figures stands in the middle ground with a row of trees behind them. A diminutive figure mounted on horses appears against a disk in the sky.

Primary Object Classification
Sculpture

Primary Object Type
casting

Additional Object Classification(s)
Metalwork

Collection Area
Western

Rights
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Keywords
bronzes (visual works)
literary theory
lovers
nets (objects)

3 Related Resources

Early Modern European Objects
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Greco-Roman Mythology
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 1st floor ➜ 102 (Richard and Rosann Noel Gallery)