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Venus and Cupid

Cupid and Venus, an oil painting by the venetian Lorenzo Lotto.

The theme of this picture, by the most eccentric genius of the Venetian Renaissance, was inspired by classical marriage poems and was almost certainly painted to celebrate a wedding. Lotto was fascinated with emblematic devices. The shell above Venus’ head and the rose petals on her lap are conventional attributes of the goddess. The ivy is symbolic of conjugal fidelity while the myrtle wreath and brazier suspended from it are accoutrements of the marriage chamber. Venus wears the earring and diadem of a sixteenth-century bride. Cupid’s action, an augury of fertility, confers a mood of lighthearted wit on this most popular Venetian subject.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

In her hand, Venus hold a wreath made of myrtle, an ancient love token. I adore the emotion of love and fun that radiates from the whole painting.