Art History at a Glance
The subject of the painting Venus Wounded by Diomedes was taken from Classical mythology. In one famous scene of the ancient poet Homer's epic the Iliad, the goddess of love and beauty - who was known as Aphrodite to the Greeks and Venus to the Romans - involves herself with events on the battlefield during the Trojan War. As a result of her meddling, Aphrodite (or Venus) is wounded in the hand by the warrior Diomedes. And artist Joseph-Marie Vien has depicted this moment in his work of art. Venus is consoled in the painting by Mars (or Ares in Greek myth) and Cupid (Eros), while Iris whisks the injured goddess to Mt. Olympus in her chariot.
For More Information
An article about Venus (Aphrodite) in Classical mythology is available at Mythography.
This beautiful book (which is a part of the Phaidon Art & Ideas series) features information about the Neoclassical style. With a combination of informative text and color images, it is an insightful and delightful introduction to an important period in the history of art.