Reclining Venus with Cupid (c.1639) by Guido Reni

Reclining Venus with Cupid - Guido Reni - c.1639

Artwork Information

TitleReclining Venus with Cupid
ArtistGuido Reni
Dimensions136 x 174 cm
Art MovementBaroque

About Reclining Venus with Cupid

The artwork entitled “Reclining Venus with Cupid” is a mythological painting by the artist Guido Reni, created circa 1639. This piece is an exemplary work of the Baroque art movement and its dimensions are 136 x 174 centimeters. The painting captures the essence of mythology, a common theme during the Baroque era, where the exploration of dramatic expression and rich detail were prevalent.

The artwork depicts Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty, in a reclined position, her body gracefully elongated as she commands the canvas with a relaxed posture. Her form is sumptuously rendered, with a softness that is characteristic of the Baroque celebration of the human figure. Venus is partially draped in a delicate yellow fabric that subtly implies her divine status, and is otherwise unclothed, a nod to the ideals of Classical beauty and sensuality.

Beside Venus is Cupid, her son, known as the god of desire and affection. He is portrayed as a cherubic young child with delicate wings, adding an air of innocence to the composition. The interaction between the two is intimate and tender; Venus extended hand towards Cupid holds a golden arrow, one of the tools he traditionally uses to incite love. Cupid, meanwhile, grasps a bow in his other hand, symbolizing his power to inspire love in mortals and gods alike.

The setting of the painting suggests a luxurious, yet private space, possibly an outdoor terrace, as indicated by the balustrade and verdant landscape visible in the background. Diaphanous curtains in a saturated red hue frame the composition, heightening the sense of theatricality and baroque opulence.

Overall, the painting beautifully captures the sensuality, intimacy, and ornate qualities that define the Baroque period, serving as a rich visual narrative of mythological lore.

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