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Venus Preventing Aeneas from Killing Helen of Troy

The small scale, jewel-like palette, and copper support of this miniature painting suggest that it was made for a patron’s Kunstkammer—a private cabinet (known as a studiolo in Italy) dedicated to the study and collection of art and objects from the natural world. The painting’s subject, taken from the Aeneid (an account of the fall of Troy), likewise suggests a classically educated patron for this work. This must have been a popular subject, as the painting at the Eskenazi Museum of Art is the smallest of four versions of the same composition painted by Luca Ferrari.

Luca Ferrari
Italian, 1605–1654
Venus Preventing Aeneas from Killing Helen of Troy
ca. 1650
Oil on copper
10 ¼ x 12 3/8 in. (26.0 x 31.4 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Friends of Art, 66.77