Make Love Not War, Classical Style

I just got my glorious copy of The Classical Tradition (which I will blog about later), and on the cover is one of the most hilarious paintings I’ve ever seen. It is Jacques-Louis David’s neoclassical romp, Mars being disarmed by Venus. Here we see the Goddess of Love working her feminine wiles to take Mars’ mind off of his petty wars. As you can see, it seems to be working. He is starting to get that far-off look in his eye, and though he is leaning away from her he doesn’t seem to mind her hand on his thigh. Venus’ accomplices include Cupid, who is helping Mars off with his sandals, and the three Graces, Aglaea (Splendour), Euphrosyne (Mirth), and Thalia (Good Cheer), who are confiscating Mars’ armaments and plying him with wine. Even the God of War can’t resist such a multi-pronged attack, and it looks like it will be a total rout.

[click image to enlarge]

David: Mars being disarmed by Venus

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4 comments on “Make Love Not War, Classical Style

  1. Stefanie says:

    And what strategic placement of Venus's arm and one of the doves!

  2. Sylvia says:

    Very clever indeed! I like all the diagonals as well. There is so much movement in the painting.

  3. Tom says:

    Looks cool. I'm ordering it. How do you keep coming across books like this?

  4. Sylvia says:

    Tom, I come across these books by spending far too much time online! 😀 I found out about this one in particular on Stefanie's blog (So Many Books). You can get there by clicking on her name above, but I warn you it may cause you to buy more books! 😉

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