Tam docte Venerem divinus pinxit Apelles
Illi ut credatur visa fuisse Venus.
At tantam sapiunt Venerem tua scripta, Marote,
Ut tibi credatur cognita tota Venus.
Translation by John Weever, also 16th Century, who suppressed the reference to Clément Marot, in whose praise this quatrain is composed:
Apelles did so paint faire Venus Queene,
That most suppos’de he had faire Venus seene,
But thy bald rimes of Venus savour so.
That I dare sweare thou dost all Venus know.
The Latin poem is by Théodore de Bèze (indeed, the successor of John Calvin in Geneva). He wrote it in his youth and published it in his Iuvenilia. He wrote this poem impressed by a rondeau by Clément Marot about the daughter of a painter. The reference to Apelles is – of course – to his legendary painting of Venus arising from the sea…
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