Attributed to Piat Joseph Sauvage (Flemish, Tournai 1744–1818 Tournai)
Oil on canvas
49 7/8 x 29 1/4 in. (126.7 x 74.3 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1906
Not on view
Sauvage trained in Antwerp with the grisaille specialist Martin Joseph Geeraerts (1707–1791) and he spent the rest of his career painting imitations of trompe-l'oeil reliefs. Here the Roman goddess of love and beauty holds her son on her lap. Cupid's bow and arrow lie on the ground beneath them, and there are two doves nearby. Sauvage has painted the eyes of the figures without pupils, as they often appear in classical sculpture.
[Katharine Baetjer and Francesca Whitlum-Cooper 2010]
[Georges Hoentschel, Paris, until 1906; sold to Morgan]; J. Pierpont Morgan, New York (1906)
Charles Sterling. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of French Paintings. Vol. 1, XV–XVIII Centuries. Cambridge, Mass., 1955, pp. 180–81, ill.
Nicole Hoentschel et al. Georges Hoentschel. Saint-Rémy-en-l'Eau, 1999, ill. pp. 197, 202, 205 (overall and gallery installations), reproduces photographs of it hanging in Hoentschel's gallery on Boulevard Flandrin.