Cupid with a Hydria, 1st century

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Eros was the Greek god of love; his Roman parallel was Cupid. Eros began as a violent and cruel god, representing uncontrollable physical desire. As depicted in works of art, however, Eros gradually grew younger and, by Hellenistic times, had become a little child. His familiar image as a winged child armed with bow and arrow began to develop in the 4th century BCE. The artist has used delicate modeling to describe the figure's childlike physique.

The figure holds a large hydria (water jar) on his left shoulder. The theme of Cupid carrying a hydria was a standard element of Roman fountain sculpture. A boss on the back indicates that this figure originally was attached to another element, perhaps another figure, forming part of an elaborate fountain composition.

Cupid with a Hydria
Accession Number
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