Mars and Venus

The cliché states that opposites attract. Is that why two paintings at the Art Institute call to me?

Cupid Chastised is one of my many friends, a painting that called out to me years and years ago and I visit every time I am in the Art Institute. Cupid plays his role, shooting an arrow of love into Mars who falls in love with Venus. For that, he is punished. Bartolomeo Manfredi was a follower of Caravaggio, whom I just love—a painter from the early 1600s known for his use of light and his influence on many who followed him.

Another depiction of Mars and Venus from over 150 years later whispers to me: Peace and War. The extremes of the individuals captured in the painting are in stark contrast. Strength vs. weakness. Marital vs. civil. The mating that was not to be without the intervention of cupid.


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