Alessandro Gherardini (Italian, 1655 – 1723)
The Forge of Vulcan
c. 1688 – 1689
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Kendrick Guernsey
Florentine painter Alessandro Gherardini received many commissions to decorate church interiors as well as private villas. In this painting, he recreated a scene from Virgil’s Aenid. Venus, mother of the hero Aeneas, implored her husband, Vulcan, the god of fire, to make a shield to protect her son. Here, Vulcan’s Cyclopes labor over the molten metal.