Venus with Mercury and Cupid ('The School of Love') (after Correggio)
||1700 - 1799
||Oil on canvas
||1340 x 1029 mm (52 3/4 x 40 1/2 in)
|Place of origin
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.
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.
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.
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)
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