Dimensions: H 1525 mm, W 944 mm, D55mm

Keywords: Evelyn De Morgan, allegorical painting, Venus, goddess of beauty, Cupid, god of love, mythology, seashells

Dates: 1878

Marks / Inscriptions: Signature, painted: "EP 1878", lower right


As with many of Evelyn De Morgan's early works, this painting is inspired by mythology. Venus, the Roman goddess of beauty, is said to have sprung from the foam of the sea: the seashells represented here have a dual meaning as they also symbolise female fertility and sexual potency.

Venus's companion is Cupid, the Roman god of love, typically represented as a young winged boy. Mythology states that Venus confiscated Cupid’s arrows and in this representation it appears that Cupid is trying to persuade Venus to return these to him.

Object Location: Loan - Wightwick Manor