Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert: Mars recieves the weapons of Venus and Vulcan (1624-1654)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Another allegory. The union of Mars and Venus is a common theme in art. In most cases Mars is being disarmed by Venus ('love conquers war'), in the painting it is the other way around. The person of Mars is Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg (1620-1688). Venus is Louise Henriette of Nassau, the wife of Frederick William. As this painting had to be more 'heroic' (to increase the glory of Frederick William), Venus gives the weapons to Mars and not the other way around. The person to the right is Vulcan, he forges the weapons for Mars. This painting is from 1624-1654.