Mars was the god of war, but also of Spring (the season of the year when fighting begins) and youth. With Jupiter and Quirinus, he formed Rome’s first divine triad. Until the time of Augustus, he was the protector of Rome. He symbolises male brute force, in contrast with his sister Minerva, for whom reason dominated impulsiveness, also being regarded as the avenger of insults and of the breaking of oaths. The playwright Aeschylus said that this god fed on the blood of men.
This sculpture can still be found today, together with that of Minerva, on either side of the main entrance (Archers’ Room) of the ceremonial façade of the Palace of Queluz.