Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms for Aeneas by Francois Boucher

Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms for Aeneas, Francois Boucher, 1757,
Oil on Canvas, 321 x 320 cm, Musee du Louvre
Venus' husband, Vulcan, the god of fire and the forge crafted arms for Aeneas at her pleading for his battle with Turnus.  Virgil writes of Aeneas in 'The Aeneid', the son of the Trojan mortal Anchises and Venus, the goddess of beauty and erotic love.  Aeneas is bestowed with divine protection because of Venus. He is chosen to survive the siege of Troy and to lay the foundations in Italy for the glory of the Roman Empire. In the Aeneid, Aeneas’s fate as Rome’s founder propels the story forward and the sequence of events frequently conveys that Aeneas’s heroism is to be indebted as much to his legacy as to his own choices and deeds. Aeneas provides the medium for the fates to carry out its design.  Boucher utilizes his creamy brush strokes and rich colorization to bring to life the mythological history of the exchange of the armor made for Venus' son who is half mortal and half god.  Although this is a Rococo period work, the elements of the Baroque style are still evident in the dramatic triangles, implied diagonal lines criss crossing the canvas, and the bottom of the canvas appearing as if the viewer could step into this dreamy world of gods, goddesses, putti, and myth.

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