Peter Paul Rubens lived and worked in the Renaissance and Baroque. The main feature of this era was the popularization of art of the ancient world. That is why in this picture we see the image of the Roman goddess of love and beauty – Venus.
The central image of work is, of course, Venus itself. The artist abandoned the usual image of people facing the audience. Therefore, we can see Venus from the back. This is a rather unusual trick. The artist seemed to have seen enough of the image of the goddess in front, and decided to show everyone her hidden side. This is expressed by the innovation of the artist.
So that the image of the goddess does not seem boring to us, Peter Paul Rubens draws a small mirror in which the young girl looks. Mirrors played an important role in the Baroque era. With their help, the artists created some kind of illusiveness, distortion, which gave each work a mystery, an understatement. We can only guess how the goddess looks from the front. A small mirror is just a hint.
The goddess of love has amazing beauty. She is fair-skinned, with long golden curls. The dark-skinned maid, who is depicted to the right of the goddess, creates contrast at work – the skin of Venus literally glows. An African girl helps to braid her hair, so she took a piece of golden hair in her hands.
In the left part of the work we see the image of an angel. This small, plump child holds a mirror in which Venus admires. Here, in the picture, the pagan and Christian world merges. Venus refers to the Roman pantheon of the gods, the angel to the Christian world.
Venus is depicted completely naked. Only at the bottom of her back a thin white matter covers slightly. From the jewelry, the girl decided to choose only earrings with a blue stone, and put a gold bracelet with precious stones on her arm.