Venus and Amor Hans Holbein Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Venus and Amor was painted by Hans Holbein in 1524, at which point the artist was living in Switzerland.

The artwork was made from oil and tempera on limewood which is typical of how Holbein worked in his early years - he was only around 30 at this time. The piece remains in Switzerland today and is a part of the collection of the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung in Basel. Many of Holbein’s paintings still reside fairly closely to where they were originally created, with many from his time in England to be at the National Gallery in London.

Magdalena Offenburg is the model who plays the role of Venus, the goddess of Love, in this painting. She was used by Holbein, a friend of her’s, for several other paintings too. In line with Roman mythology, Venus' son is Amor and is also captured in this scene as a young baby.

The artist drapes some velvet to cover the background and allow the subjects to take centre stage. He dresses the model elegantly though in clothing from his own period rather than sourcing more appropriate for the time of the myth itself.

In terms of influences on this artist, Holbein had recently spent an extended period in France before returning to Switzerland. He is likely to have visited the work of several artists with whom he was not well acquainted previously and this potentially might of caused his style of painting to alter somewhat.