Cupid binds Mars (the god of war) to Venus with a love knot. The picture operates on a number of allegorical levels and celebrates the civilizing and nurturing effects of love (milk flows from Venus's breast and Mars's horse is restrained). By 1621 it was owned by Emperor Rudolf II, in Prague, along with three other mythological works by the artist (two of these are in the Frick Collection, New York), but its original owner is unknown. These are among Veronese's greatest works, done when at the height of his powers. Veronese was among the greatest masters of light and color, and his work had an enduring impact on later artists, from Annibale Carracci and Velázquez to Tiepolo.