Skip to main content


Artist/maker unknown, French or Dutch
Fans were frequently given as tokens of romantic affection in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This eighteenth-century example was a wedding present from Henry Pratt McKean (1810–1894) to his bride, Phebe E. Warren (1819–1894) in 1841. In the fan’s delicate painting, Mars, the Roman god of war, has abandoned his weapons to present a crown, a symbol of love, to Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. On the mother-of-pearl sticks, the Greek hero Heracles spins wool for his master and future wife, Queen Omphale of Lydia.

Object Details

We are always open to learning more about our collections and updating the website. Does this record contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Contact us here.

Please note that this particular artwork might not be on view when you visit. Don’t worry—we have plenty of exhibitions for you to explore.