Venus and Mars
Sandro Botticelli (Italian, 1445 - 1510)
Botticelli painted this in 1483, and the picture depicts Venus and Mars, God of War, lying facing each other in the sacred garden of the Goddess of Love surrounded by myrtle trees. The theme is that the power of love can overcome the physical strength of the warrior.
Mars is in a deep sleep and not even the satyrs' mischievous play can awaken him. They are using his weapons and armor to amuse themselves and one even attempts to wake Mars by blowing in his ear through a seashell. Another is wearing Mars' helmet and, with his two companions, attempts to steal away with the warriors lance.
The Goddess of Love stares at the sleeping figure of Mars, safe in the knowledge that her own sexual prowess has overcome his taste for war.
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