Sandro Botticelli: Venus and Mars (1483)

(National Gallery, London, UK)

A beautiful painting by the Italian master Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510). The subject depicted is the popular allegory 'love conquers all' theme. On the left is Mars, the Roman God of war one of the lovers of Venus - he is sleeping and unarmed. On the right is Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love, and is awake. The infant satyrs in the background are playing with the lance and helmet of Mars while a third one blows a small conch shell in the ear of Mars in an attempt to awaken him. Mars is sleeping the 'little death' which comes after making love, and not even a trumpet in his ear will wake him. Painting from 1483.