Venus, Mars and Vulcan
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
In Greco-Roman mythology, Venus, Mars and Vulcan are the protagonists of a famous love triangle. Venus (Aphrodite) had a long-standing love affair with Mars (Ares), despite her marriage with Vulcan (Hephaestus).
Eventually, Vulcan found out about Venus’s promiscuity from Helios, the all-seeing Sun, and planned a trap for them during one of their trysts. While Venus and Mars lay together in bed, Vulcan ensnared them in an unbreakable chain-link net so small as to be invisible and dragged them to Mount Olympus to shame them in front of the other gods for retribution.
However, the gods laughed at the sight of these naked lovers and Poseidon persuaded Vulcan to free them in return for a guarantee that Mars would pay the adulterer's fine. Vulcan states in the Odyssey that he would return Venus to her father and demand back his bride price: this is the one episode that links them.
The Thebans told that the union of Mars and Venus produced Harmonia, as lovely as a second Venus. But of her union with Vulcan, there was no issue, unless Virgil was serious when he said that Eros was their child. Later authors might explain this statement when they say the love-god was fathered by Mars but passed off to Vulcan as his own son.
- Vulcan at His Forge with Mars and Venus, 1543 by Enea Vico after Parmigianino
- Mars and Venus  by Agostino Carracci after I Modi
- Venus, Vulcan and Mars (Tintoretto)
- Venus and Mars (Botticelli)
- Venus, Mars, and Cupid by Cosimo
- Mars and Venus Caught in the Net by Marten Jacobszoon Heemskerk van Veen
- Athena Scorning the Advances of Hephaestus by Paris Bordone
- Mars and Venus by Louis Lagrenée, 1770, Los Angeles, The Getty Center
- Arranged marriage
- Forced marriage
- The Loves of the Gods
- Mythological painting
- Female promiscuity
- Venus and Mars (disambiguation)
- Mars and Venus Caught in the Net
- The Net (substance)