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VENUS REQUESTING ARMOUR FOR ENEAS.

VANDYCK.

Virgil is not so abundant in subjects for painting as Homer. The surprising genius of the Greek poet appears to have given him a knowledge of all the arts. The Æneid, nevertheless, offers several picturesque scenes, which may be transported upon canvas. These have been treated by various artists, but rarely with success.

The subject of the picture before us will be found in the eighth book of that admirable poem, in which Venus desires the Armour of Vulcan for her son Æneas.

Vandyck appears not to have perfectly felt all the beauties discoverable in the Latin poet. The place of the scene is too limited, and gives but a feeble idea of the forges of Vulcan. Vandyck also, whose judgment in point of colouring was correct, has neglected to produce all that grandeur of effect which might have been expected from the fire of the furnaces, perceptible in the back ground. The cyclops and the cupids that accompany Venus might likewise bave presented a more happy contrast. The goddess is without grace, and her expression constrained. With respect to Vulcan, he does not appear to experience any of those amorous transports described by the poet. These two figures, although incorVENUS REQUESTING ARMOUR FOR ÆNEAS. rectly drawn, have, in the opinion of artists, stamped a value upon this production.

This picture is about seven feet high and four and a half wide.

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