Sunday, April 13, 2008

venus, grown up

This blog is usually a positive vibe zone, but something about the painting above struck me, and I want to share it. You see, Venus has already had her glory day; she has emerged virtuous and sparkling from the water – God's last, supreme creation. Here, a few mythical years later, her glory is begone. She is married to Mars, a willful and commanding presence, and she is subservient to him, in body and will. She is pressed under him, her foot and hand pinned down. Mars basks in his naked post-amorous bliss. Not even the faun's horn can stir him, while Venus looks on, troubled, feeling unseen. She has clothed herself for protection, searching his sleeping face for a sign of love. She is more naked than him... Completely vulnerable in her need for kindness. What a lesson...


Blogger greenfrog said...

I think part of what conveys the sense you perceive is the body positioning. While Venus and Mars are in opposition, presenting two relatively equalized masses to frame the painting, all of the cherubs/fauns are oriented toward Mars, as is Venus. And rather than presenting Mars reciprocating orientation toward Venus, the artist has painted him unconscious.

But despite all the attention he gets, he's oblivious.

What intrigues me about the painting is the interesting expression on Venus' face. To my perception, it isn't exactly anger or disappointment. It seems less readily labelled.

Perhaps awake?

April 13, 2008 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger mimi said...

thank you for posting! hurray!

i'm happy that there are other ways of reading her expression, because to me it's sad and full of longing, but i don't want people to ever feel this way, even in paintings! : )

April 14, 2008 at 12:26 AM  
Blogger Shireena said...

Nice to hear from you, sweetie. Hope your trip went/going? well.

Lovely painting. Your description reminds me of a few years back when I took a class through NYU where we walked around the Met and viewed and interpreted art. It was so enriching, that experience.


April 25, 2008 at 9:09 AM  

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