Venus and Cupid Rembrandt 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 Cupid was completed by Rembrandt van Rijn in 1657 and is now part of the collection of the Louvre in Paris, France

Venus and Cupid is likely to have been one element of a series of three paintings, recently labelled as a classical trinity of goddesses, alongside Juno and Pallas Athene. The commission for all three possibly came from rich collector, Herman Becker, who would prove a useful partner to Rembrandt who was constantly struggling with his own financial health.

It was A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings who published this theory and there is considerable evidence to back this claim up. The same collector held a series of three prints from an earlier artist which contained precisely the same three goddesses, albeit in very different depictions.

The likely explanation, therefore, is that the rich Becker requested Rembrandt to produce paintings alongside the same themes of these prints from a decade earlier, only with the master's own artistic licence and invention added on top.

There is little known specifically about this individual painting, other than that it has been cropped on each side. It is a touching scene with the main figure leaning to the right. In Pallas Athene you will see the figure leaning to the left, which then leaves these paintings to be placed on either side of the front-on Juno. Rembrandt did not cover these figures at any other time in his career, so the connection to the prints of Wenzel Hollar simply cannot be a pure coincidence.

Venus herself is a mythological figure used by countless artists over the many centuries of art history, be it the Renaissance and Baroque periods or all that has occurred since. Some of the most notable contributions have included Titian's Venus and Cupid, Giorgione's Sleeping Venus, Venus, Cupid, Baccchus and Ceres by Peter Paul Rubens and Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus.