Oil on canvas
Overall: 98.5 x 74.5 cm (38 3/4 x 29 5/16 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 2018.1
The sitter holds a drawing representing Venus making Cupid's weapons, symbolizing the power of love to conquer all.
In 1700 Carlo Maratti’s wife died, permitting him to marry his longtime mistress, Francesca Gommi, who began modeling for the artist in the 1670s and was the mother of his only child, Faustina. This painting was presumably painted shortly after the marriage as an homage from the artist to his new wife. To introduce an allegorical element into the composition, Maratti included a painting within a painting—in this case a drawing depicting Venus forging the love-darts of her adolescent son Cupid, suggesting that love will conquer all.
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