Vulcan´s Forge


Adriaen de Vries

Prague, 1611


H. 47 cm

Acquired with the support of the Freundeskreis des Bayerischen Nationalmuseums e.V. and the Bayerische Vereinsbank 1969

Inv. No. 69/57.1-2

Gallery 28




The Roman god Vulcan is depicted with his assistants forging Aeneas´ weapons for the battle of the Trojans against the Latins. The goddess Venus, Aeneas´ mother, who had persuaded her husband to do this work, can be seen in the background on the right. This scene from classical mythology served Adriaen de Vries, the famous court artist of Emperor Rudolf II, for the virtuoso representation of muscular male nudes in motion. This sequence of the variously rendered bodies and their powerful hammers hitting the anvil is reminiscent of studies from the early days of photography, which break down movement into individual stills.

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