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Statue of the Infant Cupid

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Roman, A.D. 1 - 50
Bronze, silver, copper
25 3/16 in.

Cupid, the god of love, is shown as a chubby, wide-eyed toddler. The young god wears a leafy wreath entwined with a fillet, or ribbon, the copper ends of which fall over his shoulders. The wreath of leaves and nuts are those of a sycamore or plane tree. The child would have originally held other identifying attributes, such as a bow and arrow. On his back are the remains of metal attachments, undoubtedly for fastening wings onto the body. The hollowed-out irises of his eyes would have been inlaid with colored stone or glass and the whites covered in silver. In the Hellenistic period, the creation of genre scenes led to an interest in depicting children, which in turn inspired images of the gods as infants. Roman artists continued this practice, with Cupid a favorite among these infant depictions. Bronze statues like this were popular decorative additions to the gardens and courtyards of Roman houses.

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