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In this sketch, the classical gods Venus and Mars are caught in an adulterous liaison by Venus’s husband Vulcan.

This is a sketch by the French artist Chéron for the design of a ceiling for a bedroom to be used by visiting royalty at Boughton House, Northamptonshire. The decoration in many rooms at Boughton shows divine figures engaging in human activities related to the function of the room itself. What, therefore, might this design suggest about the moral values and tastes of the social elite?

March 2011