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(Italian, 15th century)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.432.43
Catalogue raisonné: Hind E.I. 43a
This engraving is part of the Tarocchi group marked with the letter “A”, and named Firmaments of the Universe. This series comprises the seven planets from the classical astronomy (Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) and the three celestial spheres that separate them from the Supreme Entity (Prima Causa) from which everything was originated.
Here, Venus is personified as a nude female figure, in profile, bathing in a small river, and holding a sea shell in her right hand. Doves are flying above her. Venus’s winged son Cupid stands behind her, blindfolded and carrying his bow and arrows. On the other side of the river bank are three naked young girls, symbolizing the three Graces. Venus was believed to be the Goddess of Love, the daughter of Jupiter, and the third in the order of planets.
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