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The Birth of Venus
Peter Paul Rubens

The story of Venus' birth is described in Hesiod's 'Theogony' and in the 'Homeric Hymns'. In the centre, Venus steps from her shell on to the island of Cyprus (or Cythera). In the rim around the central group are Neptune and Amphitrite at the top and Cupid and Psyche at the bottom.

This design was probably a modello for a silver basin. Such prestigous objects were displayed on a side table to signal the wealth of the owner.

Key facts
Artist Peter Paul Rubens
Artist dates 1577 - 1640
Full title The Birth of Venus
Date made about 1632-3
Medium and support Black chalk and oil on oak
Dimensions 61 x 78 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1885
Inventory number NG1195
Location in Gallery Room 18
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