Painting by Venus and Mars, Sandro Botticelli

Mars immersed in a deep dream, which the fauns playing around cannot interrupt, the most cheerful characters of the canvas, depicted according to the ancient tradition, horned, goat-footed and tailed. They have fun with the weapons of God: one blows Mars directly into the sink into the ear, the other clasped his huge helmet on his head, the third, crawling out from under the hand of God, adapted his chest armor. In a word, Mars is disarmed.Enlarged fragment of the picture Venus and Mars

In the picture presented Venus, the ancient goddess of love, is depicted in a reclining position, with his right hand resting on a pillow. She carefully looks at the god of war, lying opposite her. The scene takes place in a myrtle grotto (myrtle is a plant of Venus).

Description of the picture:

Venus and Mars – Sandro Botticelli. Around 1485. Wood, tempera. 69.2×173.4 Botticelli (1445-1510) (Flessandro di Mariano Filipepi, nicknamed Sandro) – the great Italian artist of the Florentine Renaissance school.

Obviously, the picture has an allegorical meaning, like everything related to ancient mythology. Its main idea is love conquers war or love conquers all. This general concept goes back to the ideas of the Italian humanist Marsilio Ficino, who, in particular, argued that Mars stands out between the planets, because it makes people stronger, but Venus dominates him. Often in conjunction with Mars or in opposition to it, it does not allow to show unkind properties and humbles it. Mars never dominates Venus.

In addition to the main idea, much in the work can be explained in a symbolic manner. For example, a swarm of wasps swirling around Mars (nothing is said about them in the myth). The fact is that the painting was commissioned by one of the members of the Vespucci family, and the wasps reflected the pun: “Vespucci” – “Vespa” (from the Italian “vespa” – “wasp”).