Cupid on a Lion, ca. 1675–90
Mattheus van Beveren (Flemish, ca. 1630–1690)
Ivory, ebony base; H. of statuette 8 5/8 in. (21.9 cm), H. of base 4 1/2 in. (10.4 cm)
Purchase, Gift of Ogden Mills and Irwin Untermyer, by exchange, 1980 (1980.220)
The winged Cupid subduing a ferocious lion embodies the notion that "love conquers all," drawn from Ovid and Virgil. In van Beveren's realization of this popular artistic theme, love is represented as a putto, or winged infant. The portrayal of Cupid as a chubby child dates to the Renaissance, as does the virtually indistinguishable imagery of infant angels in the sacred context of the same artist's Lamentation (64.164.242).