The picture celebrates the omnipotence of love. It is based in part on a description in antiquity of a Greek painting in which a cult image of Aphrodite is decorated by nymphs, with winged cupids dancing around it. Rubens’s great role model, Titian, had been inspired by it in 1518 to create a painting that was later copied by Rubens. The open brushwork and differentiation in the coloration are a profession of admiration for Titian’s late works; the ecstatic intensity in this revival of antiquity is, however, Rubens’s highly personal.
217 x 350 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie
1685 Imperial Coll. Prague; 1733 Imperial Coll. Vienna
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