As the world eagerly awaits images from Mars Curiosity, I couldn’t resist featuring some curious art historical images of Mars, ranging from an ancient statue of the god with a missing cranium to a Parisian greenspace to a trashy riff off an Old Master. Enjoy!
Off with his head! (well, the top of it anyway)
Mars of Todi, late 5th or early 4th century BC (Etruria), bronze. Museo Gregoriano Etrusco, Vatican Museums, Vatican City
One of the sexiest sculptures of Mars ever!
Ludovisi Mars, 2nd-century CE copy of a late 4th-century BCE Greek original associated with Scopas or Lysippus, marble. Palazzo Altemps, Rome
Read this post on Three Pipe Problem for an explanation behind a certain WTF detail in Botticelli’s beloved masterpiece.
Sandro Botticelli, Venus and Mars, c. 1485, tempera on panel. National Gallery, London
Piero di Cosimo’s Mars is so awkward, and don’t even get me started about Venus and Cupid!
Piero di Cosimo, Venus and Mars, 1486-1510, oil on canvas. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
Mars is doing a little exploring… From the looks of it, he’s about to begin probing the surface ;)
Titian, Mars, Venus, and Amor, 1560, oil on canvas. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Talk about seven minutes of terror, as Mars and Venus are caught in an affair by the pantheon of gods!
Joachim Wtewael, Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan, 1610-1614, oil on copper. Christie’s, 2012 (see related version at the J. Paul Getty Museum here)
Vik Muniz’s "trashy" reinterpretation of Velázquez’s slouching god is spot on, even capturing Mars’s flabby abs entirely out of garbage and found objects!
Diego Velázquez, Mars Resting, 1640, oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid; Vik Muniz, Mars (after Velázquez), from the seriesPictures of Garbage,2005/2006.
I love visiting the Champs de Mars in Paris, a large greenspace between the Eiffel Tower and the École Militaire. In the painting below, Delaunay captures an intriguing view of the Eiffel Tower, represented as a red edifice (an appropriate color in relation to today’s entry).
Robert Delaunay, Champs de Mars: The Red Tower, 1911-1923, oil on canvas. The Art Institute of Chicago