Venus and Cupid

Lorenzo Lotto Italian

Not on view

In his inimitable fashion, in this unique masterpiece Lorenzo Lotto takes one of the most popular subjects of Venetian painting and gives it a witty and humorous twist. Naughty Cupid urinates on his mother through a laurel wreath—an act meant to symbolize fertility. Because this is a marriage picture, it is inspired by ancient marriage poems. It is possible that Venus’s features may be taken from the bride’s. The beautifully observed details relate to the goddess and marriage. The ivy is symbolic of fidelity; brides wore a myrtle wreath; incense perfumes the bower; a snake warns against jealousy.

#5079. Venus and Cupid

Venus and Cupid, Lorenzo Lotto (Italian, Venice ca. 1480–1556 Loreto), Oil on canvas

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