Mars Being Disarmed by Venus is French Neo-classical painter Jacques-Louis David’s final work, painted in 1824, and is indicative of his late departure from his early, more austere, and simple Neoclassical compositions.
Indeed, it could be more accurate to call this painting a Romantic work, as it prefers an imprecise location – a temple seemingly floating in the sky, and the world of emotion to that of reason and virtue which the younger David repeatedly painted.
Here, Mars’ weaponry, shield, daggers, and bow, are discreetly removed from his possession by Cupid and the three Graces. The painting is an allegory or fable about the triumph of love – here personified by Venus who crowns the pacified god of war with a wreath. The doves perched at the center of the work mark both the love of Mars for Venus and the victory of peace.
A year after finishing this painting in 1825 Jacques-Louis David died after he was struck by a carriage while in exile in Brussels.
Jacques-Louis David’s Mars Being Disarmed by Venus is in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels, Belgium.