HANS ROTTENHAMMER (1564-1625): VENUS AND MARS
Oil on copper plate.
According to the expert opinion prepared by Thomas Fusenig: “Venus and Mars” demonstrates all the characteristics of Rottenhammer's brushwork and probably dates to the period around 1600, when he resided in Venice. The female portraits correspond to Rottenhammer's types, with straight noses, flat eyebrows, and oval-shaped faces. Even a comparison of details such as the heads of the child figures or other details prove the authenticity of the newly found painting. Rottenhammer also explored this mythological subject in two other copper plates created in 1604-1605, which are housed at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and Bayerischen Staatsgemäldesammlungen. The paintings have approximately the same format, and the style and composition are very close to “Venus and Mars.” Another identical composition corresponds to the carefully executed pen and ink drawing in white on red-toned paper, which is in the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin. The erotic theme of the Goddess of Love, Venus, meeting the God of War, Mars, reflects the period's basic principles of all existence in nature and is often interpreted in paintings.