Mars

Antonio Lombardo

Venice, c.1475 – Ferrara, 1516

Marble, 44.9 x 36.8cm

Inv. 2054

The Galleria Estense, Modena

Documented in the 1629 property inventory following the death of Duke Cesare d’Este, this relief must have been part of the Estense collection from the first half of the sixteenth century onwards. It has also been connected with Antonio Lombardo’s work for Duke Alfonso I in the early years of the sixteenth century and his famous Camerino di Alabastro. The relief was probably paired with another slab depicting Peace that survives today in bronze form at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The inscription ‘NON BENE MARS / BELLUM POSITA NI / SI VESTE MINISTRO’ may be translated as “I, Mars, cannot wage war well if I have not set aside my armour”.