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Venus, identified by her doves, is seated in an Italianate landscape while a weeping Cupid is brought before her on a chariot. The scene may be that described in Anacreon’s Odes (XL), where Venus refuses to sympathise with Cupid, who has been stung by a bee, because his arrows of love inflict far more pain than a mere bee-sting. The mythological subject is, however, unusual in his work; yet the signature appears genuine and the picture has been considered autograph since at least 1715, when it was in the collection of Giovanni Ascania Tricca, Councillor at the Electoral Court of Bavaria in Munich. Tricca sold the picture to Baron Schönborn in 1719, and the 4th Marquess of Hertford was able to fulfil his often-repeated desire to obtain a work by Van Mieris by purchasing it at the 1867 Schönborn sale in Paris.

The Wallace Collection





oil on oak panel


H 13.6 x W 17.3 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1867; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type



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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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