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The central cartouche of this fan leaf depicts Venus. She is attended by putti holding symbols of love. One supports a shield with a pierced heart, representing ‘love conquers all’. Another holds a bow and feels the point of an arrow. In the distance is a lake with several swans, birds also associated with Venus. Sprays of flowers representing spring, love and betrothal flank the scene. The dark ground was popular in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. It allowed the colours to glow with greater intensity than on a pale background.

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  • Title: Fan leaf
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1670/1680
  • Location: France
  • Provenance: Bequeathed by Emily Beauclerk
  • Medium: Gouache on leather, mounted on card

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