Thursday, March 20, 2008
Fun With Art!
Click to see larger version
That is Peter Paul Rubens' painting of Mars and Rhea Silvia. According to the legend, Mars loved Rhea Silvia, despite the problematic fact that she was a Vestal Virgin by occupation. Out of their union came Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome.
Anyway, in the painting, we see Mars advancing upon his beloved, while a couple of cupids remove his armour. Beside Rhea Silvia is the altar of the Temple of Vesta (I particularly like the sphinxes). On the alter, at the extreme right of the painting, is the Palladium, the statue of Athena that somehow (there are various versions of the story) made its way from Troy to Italy.
Now, there is something a little bit unusual about both Mars and the statue of Athena. Can you spot what it is? The answer is in the comments.