"An Allegory with Venus and Cupid"- -Art Column-

1. "An Allegory of Venus and Cupid"

  The painting printed on the dress is "An Allegory of Venus and Cupid", an oil painting by the Italian Florentine painter Agnolo Bronzino. This painting was painted in about 1545, and was a gift from Cosimo I of the Italian Medici family to King François I of France. It is now in the collection of the National Gallery in London.

2.The symphony of White and Blue

  There are two points that make this work stand out, the first is its gorgeous color scheme. It is a combination of the skin whiteness of the painted figures and the deep yet vivid ultramarine. Ultramarine was made from a natural mineral gemstone called lapis lazuli, imported from Central Asia, and was a rare and expensive pigment comparable to gold in Europe at the time. Therefore, it was generally used only in religious paintings such as St. Mary and Christ`s robes. The cool white color on Cupid, the god of love, and Venus, the goddess of beauty, painted in the center of the screen, reminds us of the milky white nude figures painted by the Japanese artist Tsuguharu Fujita. The cold, transparent white, like ivory, like marble, as if removed from ordinary human's flesh and blood, enhances the intense blue of the ultramarine, and at the same time, the blue also reflects the white of the skin more clearly. It is a dramatic clash of colors in cold harmony, a splendid symphony of white and blue.

3. Moral Message

  Another point is the beautiful figures depicted in the painting and the meanings contained in the motifs. In the artwork, Cupid appears as a beautiful young boy, kissing Venus, supporting her head with his left hand and pinching her nipple with the fingers of his right hand. Venus also responds to the kiss, attempting to steal Cupid's love arrow with her right hand and holding a golden apple in her left. The golden apple and the white dove in the bottom left of the painting are important motifs symbolizing the goddess of beauty. Because of the explicit sexual expression contained in their movements, this work is considered one of the most erotic paintings in the National Gallery of Art. There was also an explanation that such subject matter was well suited to the tastes of the King of France, who was notorious for his eroticism at the time. The boy standing to the right of the two, about to sprinkle them with roses is a symbol of pleasure and joy, and the old man in the upper right carrying an hourglass is the personification of time.

Cupid and Venus 

White dove, Golden apple

 Beautiful people and lust are intriguing, but underneath that beauty sometimes lurks ugliness and even danger. This is depicted in the shadows of the central figures. In the shadow of Cupid on the left is an old woman pulling her hair and screaming, a symbol of jealousy, or perhaps syphilis, a venereal disease prevalent at the time. On the opposite side, a beautiful girl in a green dress is depicted in the shadow of the boy holding roses. She has a sweet smile, marble-white skin, golden hair like Venus, adorned with pearls, and holds out a honey cube representing sweetness and temptation on her right hand. But a closer look at her body parts reveals a tail with a serpent-like sting in her left hand and lion's paws on her feet. The girl is truly a monster like the sphinx, deceives people with their beauty and eventually leads them to death. Her dual nature of beauty and evil is also fully expressed in the cape she wears. The light and dark areas of the cloak are painted in two different colors, pale blue for the light areas and pink for the dark areas. It is a technique often used since the Renaissance called “Cangiante”. Thus, from the way all the figures arranged in the painting, their relationships, and the way they were painted not only provide us a visual pleasure, but are also rich in moral allegory.

Old woman and serpent girl

  In the design of the dress, we added gold frames on the bust and skirt edges, decorating the entire dress like a masterpiece. We sincerely hope to bring you to the dramatic and glamorous world of the late Renaissance. And if you match it with a white blouse and pearl ornaments, you can make the vivid blue pop up and create a more classy and elegant look.