Cupid on a lion

Artist: Mattheus van Beveren (ca. 1630–1690)

Date: ca. 1675–90

Culture: Flemish

Medium: Statuette: ivory; base: wood, ebony and ivory

Dimensions: Height (statuette): 8 5/8 in. (21.9 cm); Height (base): 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Miniature

Credit Line: Purchase, Gift of Ogden Mills and Irwin Untermyer, by exchange, 1980

Accession Number: 1980.220a, b


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 (see 64.164.242).