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Venus in the Forge of Vulcan

Artist: Georg Raphael Donner
ascribed to
(Esslingen, 1693 – Vienna, 1741 )

Date: ca. 1735
Medium: tin and lead alloy
Dimensions: 62.5 × 98 × 12 cm, 66 kg
with frame: 84 × 120 × 12 cm
Classification: relief
Inventory Number: 5379
Department: Sculpture

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Venus in the Forge of Vulcan

There are two large lead reliefs by this outstanding Austrian Baroque sculptor in the Sculpture Collection: the work shown here and its companion piece illustrating the Judgement of Paris. Both may be dated around 1735. Lead as a material is well suited to emphasising painterly effects and bringing out delicate, soft transitions. The relief presents mythological figures in a genre-like situation: on the left side muscular men raise hammers, while on the right Venus is accompanied by playing putti, next to them Vulcanus works by his anvil. The slender figure of Venus represents beauty in an everyday setting.
Miriam Szőcs