DescriptionIn the painting Venus in Front of a Mirror, Venus wears nothing but a bracelet and a pair of pearl teardrop earrings; one of the earrings is white, and the other— reflected in the mirror—is black. The Museum’s distinctive “Venus” Earrings are based on the goddess’s earrings.
24K gold overlay, with simulated glass pearls. 1 1/4''L. Pierced, with gold-filled posts.
- 24K gold overlay, with simulated glass pearls
- 1 1/4''L
- Pierced, with gold-filled posts
Art HistoryPeter Paul Rubens was a humanist, a man of vast learning whose artistic subject matter encompassed everything from portraits to landscapes, from religious scenes to images of the gods that were drawn from classical antiquity. In the acclaimed painting Venus in Front of a Mirror, completed about 1616, Rubens portrays the nude, voluptuous Venus, the goddess of love, with her back to the viewer. Her abundant blond hair flows across her shoulders, and her son, the boyish god Amor, holds a mirror before her, turned in a direction that allows Venus, through the reflection in the glass, to gaze at the viewer. In this painting Rubens has played with the theme of seeing and being seen, establishing a connection between the subject and the viewer while revealing the alluring coquetry that is the quintessential quality of Venus.