Cherubs were commonly depicted in this traditional style with ringlets of youthful hair and a round face, which are also called ‘putto’ in the secular world. In Roman mythology, Cupid was the god of love, who was capable of making individuals (divine or mortal) fall in love by way of his enchanted arrows. He is generally represented as an aesthetically chubby boy with wings, who carries a bow and a quiver of arrows. He is normally shown as an assistant or acolyte of the goddess Aphordite (goddess of beauty and love). Eros was a god who was capable of making individuals (divine or mortal) fall in love by way of his enchanted arrows. One popular example is the story of the parents of Adonis. There was a king called Cinyras who had a beautiful daughter, Myrrah. The king would boast that her beauty surpassed that of even Aphrodite. As punishment the goddess used Eros to make Myrrah fall for her father, and decieved the king into committing incest via disguising his daughter. Myrrah discovered she was pregnant and prayed that the gods would save her, and they turned her into a Myrrh tree. Nine months later the tree split and a baby (Adonis) was born. This lead to another popular myth in which Aphrodite was shocked at the beauty of the baby and asked Persephone (Queen of the Underworld) to hide him and keep him safe. As the boy grew older, Persephone fell in love with him too, thus leading to the two goddesses arguing over the young man. Zeus rulled that Adonis should spend 4 months of the year with Aphodite, 4 with Persephone, and the remaining 4 he could spend where he liked. Adonis so loved Aphrodite that he gave his ‘free’ 4 months to her aswell. Unfortunately their love was not to be as Adonis was attacked by a boar while hunting and died in Aphrodite’s arms. In some versions of the myth, the boar was actually Mars (Aphrodite’s husband) in disguise. This tale reflects the power of Eros, love, and beauty in the ancient world.
Roman Putto Fitting
An ancient Roman, octagonal, hollow-backed fitting in bronze. Probably from an item of furniture, and modelled as a putto- a chubby male child (putti are secular and present a non-religious passion). The facial features are well-modelled and the hair is finely detailed. The octagonal shape of the fitting presents small protruding knobs on each corner. Bronze in the Roman era is exceptionally rare and precious as it used to be melted and repurposed in the following centuries.
Mounted on a purpose made mount (height including mount 7.6 cm).
Condition: Fine condition.