Conrad Martin METZ
(Bonn 1749 – Rome 1827)
The Triumph of Venus
Pen, brown water-colour and lead white on paper
Signed and dated lower right: C. M. Metz / Roma / 1819
The drawing of the Triumph of Venus, dated 1819, is a mature work, the iconography for which the painter drew from the story in Hesiod, according to which Venus was born from the foam of the sea. The goddess, who occupies the centre of the composition, is shown on a shell with her son Eros by her side, while Neptune sits on a large horse-drawn chariot on her right and the Three Graces offer her garlands of flowers on her left. In the background, Apollo's chariot is seen moving towards the sky, where Zeus sits in majesty among the clouds on Mount Olympus. Despite the almost chaotic plethora of figures, the drawing is remarkable for its soft and delicate penstrokes which impart an extremely elegant feel to the composition as a whole.