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“Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms for Aeneas” by François Boucher

"Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms for Aeneas" by François Boucher

Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms for Aeneas

“Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms for Aeneas” by François Boucher depicts the god of the forge from ancient Roman myth, presenting the Roman goddess of love, with a sword for Aeneas, her son. 

It represents a muscular Vulcan with a blacksmith’s hammer and tools, on the ground in the right. He is offering up to the more celestial Venus the weapons he has forged for her son.

Her son is the Trojan hero and the ancestor of Romulus and Remus, who founded ancient Rome. Boucher created this theme as the basis for one of a set of tapestries on “The Loves of the Gods.”

Boucher is known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes and decorative allegories. He was perhaps the most celebrated painter and decorative artist of the 18th century.

This painting is typical of the Rococo taste and reflects the Boucher’s powers of imagination.

Some of François Boucher’s works laid the groundwork for the composition of tapestry cartoons.

François Boucher was the art director of the Gobelins tapestry manufactory from 1755 to 1770


Vulcan was the god of fire, including the explosion of volcanoes, metalworking, and the forge in ancient Roman religion and myth. 

His Greek counterpart is Hephaestus, the god of fire and smithery. Vulcan belongs to the most ancient stage of the Roman religion.


Venus is a Roman goddess whose functions encompassed love, beauty, desire, sex, and victory.

In Roman mythology, she was the ancestor of the Roman people through her son, who survived the fall of Troy and fled to Italy. Julius Caesar claimed her as his ancestor.

Venus was central to many religious festivals and was revered in Roman religion under numerous cult titles.

The Romans adapted the myths and iconography of her Greek counterpart Aphrodite for Roman art and Latin literature.


In Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas was a Trojan hero, who was a crucial character in Greek mythology and is in Homer’s Iliad.

Aeneas receives full treatment in Roman mythology, where he is cast as an ancestor of Romulus and Remus. He became the first true hero of Rome.

“The Loves of the Gods” Tapestries

“The Loves of the Gods” is a set of Tapestries pieces, which in winter adorned the bed-chamber of the Duchess of Bourbon.

Each piece in the collection shows a scene involving a god or goddess. The other pieces depict Vertumnus and Pomona, Venus rising from the waves,  Aurora and Cephalus.

The Gobelins tapestry workshop produced the set of tapestries. The collection was broken up and sold in a Revolutionary auction in 1793, but can now be seen at the Louvre Museum.

François Boucher

François Boucher was a French painter who worked in the Rococo style. Boucher is known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings and was perhaps the most celebrated painter and decorative artist of the 18th century. 

Boucher often took inspiration from Peter Paul Rubens and Antoine Watteau, and importantly, for the time, Marquise de Pompadour (mistress of King Louis XV) was a great admirer of his work.

As a result, Boucher painted several portraits of his patroness, Madame de Pompadour, who is often called the “godmother of Rococo.”


Rococo was an exuberantly decorative 18th-century European style. It exaggerated the principles of illusion and theatricality.

This effect achieved by ornament, asymmetry, fluid curves, and the use of pastel colors with gilding.

The Rococo style of architecture and decoration began in France, in the reign of Louis XV as a reaction against the more formal and geometric.

Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms for Aeneas

  • Title:               Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms for Aeneas
  • Français:         Les forges de Vulcain.
  • Artist:              François Boucher
  • Date:              1757
  • Medium:         Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:   Height: 3.2 m (10.4 ft); Width: 3.2 m (10.4 ft)
  • Museum:         Louvre

François Boucher

Hephaestus: The God of Forges (Vulcan) Greek Mythology Stories

Explore the Louvre

Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms for Aeneas – Two Pianos in C minor

Aeneas: The Last Trojan Hero – Mythology


“This vision is within our grasp.”
– Francois Boucher


Photo Credit 1) François Boucher [Public domain]

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