Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Cupid on a lion

Mattheus van Beveren (Flemish, Antwerp ca. 1630–1690 Brussels)
ca. 1675–90
Statuette: ivory; base: wood, ebony and ivory
Height (statuette): 8 5/8 in. (21.9 cm); Height (base): 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Gift of Ogden Mills and Irwin Untermyer, by exchange, 1980
Accession Number:
1980.220a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 551
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).
Earls of Rosebery (until 1977; sale, 6th Earl of Rosebery collection, Sotheby, Parke, Bernet, Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, May 23, 1977, no. 1868); [ Blumka Gallery , New York, until 1980; to MMA ]
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