As noted above, the Allegory of Love cycle was created by Venetian artist Paolo Veronese for King Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire. In total, we find ourselves before four paintings that represent what, for the artist, represents Love, the first two works of the cycle have a negative connotation and are titled Infidelity and Disdain, while the last two highlight positive values, and are known as Respect and The Happy Union.
In Infidelity the play features a love triangle: a lady stands with her back to the viewer, bare-chested, standing between two men holding her hands: one her husband, the other her lover. The woman tries to surreptitiously give a letter to her lover. In the right corner we find the figures of Eros representing illegitimate love and Anteros as a symbol of legitimate love.
For its part, the work en titled El Desdén, has also been known as Disillusionment. In it appears a muscular man lying on the ground on some classical ruins that represents Vice, above him we see the god of love who hits him with his bow while, on one side, two women observe the scene: the one with bare breasts has been identified with Aphrodite and her companion who holds an ermine with herChastity.
Respect or Containmentis represented by a lady, clearly Venus, who is peacefully asleep and naked when a man breaks into her bedroom. He stops and although he watches the lady shows her intention to respect her, even Cupid holds the knight's sword so that he doesn't even try to unsheathe it.
The Happy Union represents the expected end of a glorious path, when difficulties have been overcome and respect achieved, then lovers are worthy of receiving each other. The goddess Venus delivers them both with an olive branch symbolizing the peace that will reign between them and a laurel wreath as a symbol of virtue. The protagonists of the scene are accompanied by a dog and a child in allusion to the fidelity and ingenuity with which she tells of her love.