Mars is portrayed as young and bearded, sitting on a trophy in arms, while Eros plays to his feet, drawing attention to the fact that the god of war, in a moment of rest, is presented as an object of love. The 18th century scholar Johann Joachim Wickelmann, a man with a practical look at male beauty, found Ludovisi Ares the most beautiful Mars preserved from antiquity, when he wrote the catalog of the Ludovisi collection.
Rediscovered in 1622, the sculpture was apparently originally part of the Temple of Mars (founded in 132 BC in the southern part of Campus Martius), of which few traces remain, as it was recovered near the site of the church of San Salvatore in Campos . Pietro Santi Bartoli recorded in his notes that he was found near the Palazzo Santa Croce in Rione Campitelli during the excavation. (Haskell and Penny 1981: 260) The sculpture came out in the collection formed by Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi (1595–1632) the nephew of Pope Gregory XV in the magnificent villa and gardens he built near Porta Pinciana, on the site where Julius Caesar and his heir, Octavian (Caesar Augustus), had their villa. The sculpture was slightly renovated by the young Bernini, who perfected his surfaces and discreetly gave a right foot