Cupid dancing: from Foggia to London


Today the focus of my attention is a dancing Cupid who managed to find his way from Italy’s Foggia to London’s British Museum. The bronze sculpture dates back to 10 – 100 AD. But before we meet the dancing Cupid of Roman times, let us have a look at a picture with Cupids from the early 19th century.


The picture shows the dance of eight cupids, and is made after Albani.

There is so much happening in this picture, so many forms and movements.


Comparing and contrasting this to the Roman Cupid  we see that the sculpture is almost minimalist. Cupid is naked, and he carries no accessories like his famous bow – with or without arrows.


If there is an area where the unknown artist has gone overboard is the hair.


All this Cupid features is his dance. He has no wings, and no blindfold.

The dance motion is light and simple.


Observe the way the right foot lifts while is touches the ground.


The boy’s nakedness is restrained, as shown by the right hand that curls behind the back.

cupid4 True to its Hellenistic inheritance, the Roman sculptor portrays Cupid as a chubby boy.