Venus with Mercury and Cupid ('The School of Love') (after Correggio)

after Correggio (Correggio c.1489 – Correggio 1534)
National Trust Inventory Number 732153

Category Paintings
Date 1700 - 1799
Materials Oil on canvas
Measurements 1340 x 1029 mm (52 3/4 x 40 1/2 in)
Place of origin
Collection Stourhead, Wiltshire (Accredited Museum)
On show at Stourhead, Wiltshire, South West, National Trust

The trio are seen in a forest clearing. Venus is standing, naked, but in a bashful, decorous pose, loosely based on the classical Venus Pudica, and, unusually, with wings. Mercury, who is traditionally associated with calculation and therefore elementary education is acting as teacher to Cupid. He is seated, wearing a winged hat, rather than his usual helmet, and looking patiently on whilst Cupid is solving a problem.

This is copy after the original painting by Correggio now in the National Gallery, London which was owned successively by the Gonzagas in Mantua, Charles I, Duke of Alba, Emmanuel Godoy and the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry in about 1822/3 when it was probably copied.

Summary description

Oil painting on canvas, Venus with Mercury and Cupid ('The School of Love')(after Correggio) after Correggio (Correggio c.1489 – Correggio 1534), 18th century. A copy after the original painting by Correggio now in the National Gallery, London. The trio are seen in a clearing of a forest. Venus is on the left, naked but in a more bashful pose, and, unusually, with wings. Mercury, who is traditionally associated with calculation and therefore elementary education, is seated on the left, with a winged hat, rather than the usual helmet, teaching Cupid, who stands in the centre.

Provenance

Acquired by Henry II Hoare (1705-85) and thence by descent, in Stourhead House by 1762; given to the National Trust along with the house, its grounds, and the rest of contents by Sir Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare, 6th Bt (1865 – 1947) in 1946.

Credit line

Stourhead, The Hoare Collection (The National Trust)

Marks and inscriptions

Verso: On the back in pencil: Over Door Leading To Cabinet Room

Makers and roles

after Correggio (Correggio c.1489 – Correggio 1534)

References

Walpole 1927-28 Paget Toynbee (ed.), 'Horace Walpole's Journals of Visits to Country Seats, etc.', 1760-62, Walpole Society XVI, 1927 -28 pp. 9-80, p.41

Related items

Place of origin
Materials Canvas (10041)
Paint (29885)
Category Paintings (12641)
Collection Stourhead, Wiltshire (Accredited Museum) (7267)
Periods 18th century (86296)
Maker Correggio (Correggio c.1489 – Correggio 1534) (37)
Subjects Myth and Allegory (333)
Venus (Aphrodite) (68)
Mercury (Hermes) (20)
Cupid (Eros) (50)
Object Type Oil painting (12901)

Record Status

Enhanced

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