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Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Venus Giving Arms to Aeneas

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Giordano, a child prodigy and prolific artist, was widely acclaimed for his quick production of animated scenes. Here the goddess Venus has surprised her son, Aeneas, with armor and arms to assist him in the Trojan War. The highly polished and decorative surfaces of the helmet, brass corselet,...

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By 1888, Grand Duke Friedrich-Augustus II (b. 1852 - d. 1931), Oldenburg, Germany [see note 1]; June 25, 1924, Oldenburg sale, Muller, Amsterdam, lot 108, sold for 825 gulden. July 15, 1955, anonymous sale, Christie's, London, lot 109, to Duits, London, for £472.10. By 1964, Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. (b. 1909 - d. 1988), New York. Private collection, New York [see note 2]. By 1983, French and Co., New York; 1984, sold by French and Co. to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 12, 1984) NOTES: [1] See Wilhelm von Bode, Die Grossherzogliche Gemälde-Galerie in Oldenburg (1888), p. 23. When and how the dukes of Oldenburg acquired the painting is not known. A painting -- or paintings -- matching the description of the MFA composition appeared on the London art market in the nineteenth century. For example, "Venus requesting the Armor of Aeneas" by Luca Giordano was sold at the auction of John Crewe, 2nd Baron Crewe, in London in 1806, and a painting described as "Thetis Descending into the Cave of the Cyclops, to superintend the forging of the armor of Achilles," also by Giordano, appeared at an anonymous London auction in 1835. Whether either of these is identical to the MFA composition is not known. [2] Possibly the Pokros collection; see Oreste Ferrari and Giuseppe Scavizzi, Luca Giordano: L'opera completa (Naples: Electa, 1992), p. 299, cat. no. A288.

Credit Line

Charles Potter Kling Fund and Henry H. and Zoe Oliver Sherman Fund



227.3 x 199.4 cm (89 1/2 x 78 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas