Venus and Mars
Gypsotheca, Nineteenth century wing
The sculpture was commissioned in 1815 by Prince Regent of England, George IV, while Canova was visiting London. The marble was completed in 1822 and is preserved, to this day, at Buckingham Palace in London.
Canova himself decided the subject of this piece and with it wanted to celebrate peace back in Europe the day after the Congress of Vienna. The goddess Venus is associated with good luck, wellness, harmony, and peace. Her soft figure is wrapped by a thin and delicate drape, and warmly embraces her partner. Mars, God of war, displays a defined musculature.
At the characters feet you can find a shield, a sword and a cornocupia that represent return to prosperity and abundance, only possible after the end of the conflict.
The choice of depicting the figures in the nude and tenderly embracing each other, echoes the composition of the young artist’s sculptural group Adonis and Venus.
● Inventory Number
Fondazione Canova onlus, Possagno (TV)
Buckingham Palace, London (UK)