"The Chariot of Venus" mantel clock

Object Number: 
ca. 1803-1804
Bronze, marble, gilding, glass, wood
Overall, with dome: 24 1/2 x 25 1/2 x 11 in. ( 62.2 x 64.8 x 27.9 cm )
Engraved on pair of hearts below clock: "VS" and "AD"
Gallery Label: 

This mantel clock, once owned by the Livingston family, represents the allegory of Venus and Adonis. It depicts the goddess of love in a swan-pulled chariot gazing at her lover, and with her son Cupid nearby. A similar clock, thought to have belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte’s mother, is at the emperor’s home, Malmaison, located outside of Paris. Livingston’s relationship to the Napoleonic court was often strained during his time there as the United States Minister. Yet, the Chancellor cautiously admired the French, writing to his sister Alida in 1802 that "Pleasure is in short the only pursuit of the gay world here."

Credit Line: 
Gift of Goodhue Livingston
Place Made: 
Europe, France
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group