Hans Baldung became an apprentice painter at the tender age of 16 and thus acquired the epithet Grien (Greenhorn). Influenced by the Italian renaissance, he painted mythological figures such as this Venus, the Roman goddess of love, beauty and fertility.
At her side, her son Amor holds a flaming arrow in his right hand, as a symbol of burning love. He is blindfolded and sits on a ball, which represents the truth. If he removed his blindfold he would see the truth and discover that the spiritual love of God always triumphs over the physical love between people.
Love of God overcomes
For Baldung Grien, this theme was certainly also a reason to paint a very carnal Venus. Her larger than life-size naked body is further emphasized by the dark background. During the renaissance, the voluminous nude was regarded as an ideal image of humankind. But at the same time, Baldung Grien intends to convey that a beautiful body is merely transient, unlike the love of God.