Eros as a force of physical desire dates back at least as far as the works of Homer, but the concept of Eros quickly became more refined. He became, to the classical Greeks, a personified deity of exceptional beauty and playfulness. His depiction on this pottery lamp, seen playing with a dog, is indeed testament to his cheeky character. Eros’ tricks were typically played on lovers, using his arrows to manipulate romantic situations, and to punish those who resisted his efforts.
Roman Terracotta Oil Lamp with Cupid
A finely modelled Ancient Roman terracotta oil lamp, featuring an attached loop handle, a short canal nozzle with volutes, a decorated concave discus and one filling hole. The discus is decorated with two concentric circles surrounding the depiction of a winged Cupid, portrayed playing with a dog.
Provenance: Ex major London collection collected by S.M. 1970-2010
Condition: Fine. Signs of aging and earthly encrustations on the surface. Slight blackening to the spout from use. Abrasions to the reverse.