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Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan

Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan

Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan, 1604–1608, oil on copper, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Digital Image Courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

 

 

In the Metamorphoses, the Roman author Ovid tells the story of Vulcan discovering the adultery of his wife Venus and her lover Mars. Vulcan fashioned a fine iron net to catch the pair in bed and publicly expose them to the other gods. Here Vulcan stands in the right foreground clutching the net that trapped the lovers, while other deities look on, amused by the couple’s embarrassment. A rich assortment of detail brings to life this story of love and betrayal.

Click on the images below to explore the painting details.