Framing the perspective of the parterre, a half-naked female figure stands laterally in front of the Coffee House at the Park of Miramare. She gracefully lifts her left arm, as if frozen while dancing.
In reality, the pose portrays a rather different scene: Venus is looking at herself in a sort of mirror, presumably Mars’ shield. The Miramare version is a copy after a classic masterpiece, the famous Capuan Venus now found at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, from which Mars’ shield has unfortunately been lost.
A 2nd century CE Roman copy in marble after the original 4th-century BCE Greek bronze version, the Capuan Venus (named after the location where it was found) was clearly inspired by the more famous Venus de Milo, a work from the Hellenistic age now found at the Louvre. Its artistic heritage can be seen in the drapery and the twist of the torso.
The Miramare Capuan Venus is faithful to the original, even in the details of the tiara on her head and Mars’ helmet. The latter, a traditional attribute of armed Venus, is under the left foot of the goddess, a clear metaphoric allusion to the triumph of love over war. The sculpture was made by Moritz Geiss in Berlin, a founder specializing in cast zinc treated with a layer of copper.