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This engraving is based on Rosso's drawing of 1530 made for Pietro Aretino, possibly as a presentation piece for King Francis I of France. As such, the design can be viewed as an elegant, virtuoso display of Rosso's artistry, underscoring his willingness to be called to the King's court. Many complex readings have been attached to this long popular theme celebrating romantic love; one interpretation is that the king, as Mars, has abandoned war to devote himself to the peaceful pursuit of the arts and love, symbolized by Venus. Catalogue raisonne: Bartsch, G.G. Caraglio 51 (copy) Inscription: Recto, in plate below design, "Typis Antony lafreri" at l.l. and "Roma MDLXXV" at l.r. Provenance: Hill-Stone Inc., New York