Antonio Canova's original sculpture of the Roman Gods Mars and Venus
was commissioned by the Prince Regent, later George IV, for Carlton House in 1815 during Canova's visit to London to view the Elgin Marbles. It represents an allegory of War and Peace after England’s victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. Exhibited in 1822, Canova delivered the sculpture to Carlton House in 1824, where it was placed in the Gothic Conservatory. The sculpture is currently in the collection of H. M. the Queen at Buckingham Palace, where it is on display in the Marble Hall.
The present marble is a very fine reduction of Canova's sculpture made to commemorate this historic moment.
Giuseppe Pavanello, L'opera completa del Canova, Milan, 1976, no. 307, pl. LXV