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Fall

  • 1994/2.17 - The Farnese Hercules, Jacob Bos, 1562; 18 1/8 in. x 12 5/8 in.

  • 1970/1.179Lamentation, Bartolommeo da Brescia, 1565; 10 5/8 in. x 7 11/16 in. 
  • 1985/1.86 - Mars and Venus Surrounded by Nymphs and Putti, Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio, circa 1530-1540; 16 1/2 in. x 13 3/16 in.
  • 1979/1.153 - The Dead Christ Supported by an AngelGiuseppe Scolaricirca 158218 1/8 in. x 12 3/16 in. 

Winter

  • 1954/2.54 - Study of a Male Nude with Floating Drapery, Isaac Claesz van Swanenburg, 1562-1638; 12 7/16 in. x 7 15/16 in.
  • 1983/2.249 - The Resurrection, Marten van Heemskerck, 1548-1574; 8 3/8 in. x 5 9/16 in.
  • 1957/1.33 - The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew, Jusepe de Ribera, 1624; 13 1/2 in. x 10 3/8 in. 
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7 Items in this Learning Collection
Collection Object
Collection Object

Copyright
All Rights Reserved ()

Mars and Venus Surrounded by Nymphs and Putti

Accession Number
1985/1.86

Title
Mars and Venus Surrounded by Nymphs and Putti

Artist(s)
Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio

Object Creation Date
circa 1530-1540

Medium & Support
engraving on cream laid paper

Dimensions
16 ½ in x 13 3/16 in (41.91 cm x 33.5 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
March 28, 2009
Venus exposes and unmans Mars in this print, transforming Mavors armipotens (Mars, powerful in arms) into Mavors impotens. The goddess of love raises her right hand, commanding Cupid and some putti to disrobe the god of war. Stripped of the outward trappings of aggressive masculinity, the god’s vaunted maleness is revealed in its true, diminutive proportions. The Three Graces—goddesses of beauty, charm, and joy—crowd around Mars and Venus and witness the revelation, compounding the war god’s shock and embarrassment. This print was copied from a drawing by Rosso Fiorentino, who created it as an erotic joke for the famous writer and satirist Pietro Aretino (1492–1556). Soon after he executed the drawing, Rosso entered into the service of the French king Francis I (1494–1547), whose court at Fontainebleau delighted in titillating mythological images of men dominated by women, of transvestitism, and of cuckoldry.

Subject matter
Venus exposes and unmans the war god Mars in this print. The goddess of love, nude except for a girdle cinched around her torso, sits on a bed on the left with her back to us and raises her right hand to command that Mars be disrobed. The war god stands powerless before her as Cupid pulls off his shirt and putti toy with his armor and weapons. Stripped of the outward trappings of aggressive masculinity, the god’s vaunted maleness is revealed in its true, diminutive proportions. The Three Graces, goddesses of beauty, charm, and joy, crowd around Mars and Venus and witness the revelation.

Physical Description
The nude figures of four women, a man, a winged boy, and numerous putti stand in front of a curtained bed. The man stands near the center of the crowd and gasps, apparently in shock, as his jacket is pulled off by the young boy behind him. The woman seated on the bed beckons toward the man.

Primary Object Classification
Print

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
beds (furniture)
engravings (prints)
goddesses
gods (dieties)
nudes (representations)
putti (motifs)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display