Mars and Venus surprised by Vulcan
  • Date: c. 1754
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 164 x 71 cm
  • Object size: 165 x 84.3 cm
  • Inv: P438
  • Location: Oval Drawing Room
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Further Reading
  • Hearing of his wife’s infidelity with Mars, Vulcan fashioned a golden net to entrap the faithless pair. Catching them together, he invited the other gods to enjoy their humiliation. Boucher carefully prepared the composition with numerous drawings.

    This work, together with P429 and P444, are part of a cycle with scenes of Venus. All three pictures are fine examples of Boucher’s mythological canvases of the 1750s. Their intended location is unknown, but their unusual dimensions and open sensuality suggest they were part of an interior decoration. In the nineteenth-century, the three works were enlarged in order to be combined with the slightly wider P432 to form a screen.