The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Venus with two Companions and Putti in the clouds
  • Jacques Charlier (1706 - 1790)
  • Venus with two Companions and Putti in the clouds
  • France
  • ca. 1770
  • Miniature
  • Gouache on vellum
  • Image size: 12.8 x 17.2 cm
    Frame size: 18.1 x 20.4 cm
  • M61
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This miniature is one of a small number of larger miniatures on vellum by Charlier in the Wallace Collection. Its subject was formerly given as of nymphs and putti, but the doves, the bow of the putto and the flower garlands indicate that the main figure should be identified as Venus, accompanied by two members of her following.

    Here Charlier combines in one miniature figures from several paintings by François Boucher. The reclining figure on the right, and the woman in the background, both appear, similarly spaced, in the background of Boucher’s ‘Venus in the Forge of Vulcan’, 1757, Paris. Charlier has combined these with two figures from Boucher’s ‘Aurora and Cephalus’, in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Charlier made the figure of Aurora the central feature but reduced the drapery covering the lower body of the woman on Boucher’s painting.

    While Boucher’s ‘Venus in the Forge of Vulcan’ was painted in 1757 as a tapestry cartoon and afterwards kept at the Gobelins factory, ‘Aurora and Cephalus’ was part of a series of six canvases painted in 1769 for the financier Jean-François Bergeret. While ‘Venus in the Forge of Vulcan’ was accessible in the reserves of the Gobelins, it might have been slightly more difficult for Charlier to have access to Bergeret’s Parisian town house. It was probably easier to see it in Boucher’s studio or use Boucher’s own material, lending support to the idea that Charlier had some form of professional connection with Boucher.