Gouache on vellum with gold highlights from the French school of the second half of the 17th century. The subject of this gouache comes from an episode of the Roman mythology; taken from the book VIII of the Odyssey of Homer as well as from the song IV of the Metamorphoses of Ovid; representing the loves of the gods or the victory of the love, in its oval frame in oak wood finely carved and gilded. The story is divided into four tables interspersed with foliage, cornucopias, flowers and fruits alternated with angels with a tanned complexion, without forgetting masks and animal and human figures. The main painting presents Mars, the god of war, in love with Venus, managing to meet her near the palace of her husband, Vulcan, in a clearing near the castle of the god of fire, patron saint of blacksmiths. The scene takes place in a quiet grove of myrtle trees near the castle. Side by side are two gods: Mars, the god of war, has left his armor and is resting on his red cape; Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, is languidly leaning against him, combing her golden hair with her mirror in her hand. Five winged cherubs are playing with the attributes of the martial god; one of them wearing his helmet, another one holds his sword, while three others seem to admire the beauty of Venus. Two soldiers in arms from the castles spy on the adularia couple. The two side paintings present symmetrically, Cupid, the god of love represented as an angel holding flowers in his hands. The last painting represents a most romantic vision of Mount Olympus and its surroundings. It should be noted that the presence of angels with a tan complexion, symbolizes forbidden love. This very fine gouache on vellum enhanced with gold, pasted on an oak panel was the study for the fan project. This gouache can easily be dated to the second half of the reign of Louis XIV, known as the "Grand Style" (1656-1699), as much for the richness, quality and finesse of its decoration as for its more symmetrical and orderly structure.
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