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The woman in this picture is Venus, the Roman goddess of love and this painting is full of symbols of lust and love. The arrow she holds in her hand is poised ready to pierce hearts, the apple represents the fruit that tempted Eve and the roses and honeysuckles are symbols of desire. The painting’s title is taken from a poem by the Roman author, Ovid, and translates as ‘Venus, turner of hearts’.
oil on canvas
H 81.3 x W 68 cm
purchased from E. Percival Allam, with the assistance of the National Art Collections Fund, 1946