Venus Verticordia (1864-68) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Venus Verticordia - Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1864-68

Artwork Information

TitleVenus Verticordia
ArtistDante Gabriel Rossetti
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions38 5/8 x 27 1/2 in
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection
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About Venus Verticordia

The artwork titled “Venus Verticordia” is a mythological painting by the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, created between 1864 and 1868. This oil on canvas masterpiece, measuring 38 5/8 x 27 1/2 inches, belongs to the Romanticism art movement and currently resides in a private collection.

This artwork depicts the Roman goddess Venus but presents her in a light that deviates from classical portrayals, reflecting Rossetti’s own unique interpretation. Venus, traditionally the goddess of love and beauty, is shown here as Verticordia, the changer of hearts. The subject is captured against a backdrop of lush foliage, exuding an aura of enchantment that is typical of Rossetti’s style.

The goddess’s gaze is direct and almost confrontational, engaging the viewer in a silent dialogue. She holds an apple in her left hand—a symbol of the goddess’s victory in the Judgment of Paris, which ultimately led to the Trojan War—and in her right hand, she delicately grasps an arrow, suggesting her son Cupid’s influence and the piercing nature of her love.

The use of light and shadow, as well as the sensuous lines and warm, golden tones, contribute to the seductive yet solemn atmosphere of the piece. The attention to detail in the depiction of her hair and the texture of the rose petals further enhance the ethereal quality of the artwork.

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