Joan Huydecoper and Sophia Coymans as Mars and Venus, 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.