Joan Huydecoper and Sophia Coymans as Mars and Venus, attributed to Rombout Verhulst, 1656
Venus helps her lover Mars, who has returned from battle, remove his harness. These statuettes were probably a wedding gift for Joan Huydecoper van Maarsseveen (1625-1704) and Sophia Coymans (1636-1714), who married in 1656. Like his father, Joan served several times as mayor of Amsterdam. ‘Mars and Venus’ is a subtle allusion to ‘Maarsseveen’, the name of the family’s estate, which was added to their surname.