Venus and Cupid stand naked in a lush, mountainous landscape. A Latin inscription explains that Cupid has stolen a honeycomb and a bee has stung him. Venus’s elaborate headdress also displays a maxim in German, meaning ‘all is vanity’.
The message of the picture is therefore that life’s pleasures are fickle and brief, while pain is enduring. On the lower right the inscribed date of the work is combined with a winged serpent design derived from Cranach's coat of arms.