In Roman mythology, Cupid was the god of love erotic and beauty. The name Cupid is a variation on Cupido ("desire"), and this god was also known by the name Amor. Cupid and Greek god Eros are equated.
It was commonly believed that Cupid was the son of Venus - the Roman goddess of love - and this association between Venus and Cupid was quite popular in myth, poetry, literature, and art. Cupid's cult was closely associated with that of Venus, with Cupid being worshipped as devotedly as she.
Drawing of Cupid
by Francesco Francia
Click here to enlarge this Cupid graphics
Drawing of Cupid
by Raphael Sanzio
enlarge this Cupid graphics
| In Cupid graphics, painting, sculpture and drawing of Cupid, he is often portrayed as a nude winged boy or baby armed with a bow and a quiver of arrows. On gems and other surviving pieces, he is usually shown amusing himself with childhood play, sometimes driving a hoop, throwing darts, catching a butterfly, or flirting with a nymph.
The Roman poet Ovid seems to delight in portraying Cupid as a willful and capricious child in many of his poems from the Amores and the Art of Love. It is also from these collections of poetry that we get a wonderfully vivid description of the god of love:
|"Cupid's there, quiver reversed, bow broken,|
Holding a burnt-out torch.
See how sadly he walks, poor child, wings drooping,
How he beats at his bared breast,
How the tears rain down on his hair, now lying all tangled
About his throat, and his mouth's a loud O of grief.
Thus he looked, they say, long ago, when he saw his
Brother Aeneas to the grave..."
In later literature, Cupid is frequently invoked as fickle, playful, and perverse. He is often depicted as carrying two sets of arrows: one set gold-headed, which inspire love; and the other lead-headed, which inspire hatred.
In popular culture Cupid is shown shooting his bow to inspire romantic love. It is said that if Cupid's arrow hits you, you will fall hopelessly and madly in love with the next person you meet.
Click here to
enlarge this Cupid graphics
Psyche et L'Amour,
Enlare this Cupid and Psyche picture
|One of the most memorable myths about Cupid involves his relationship with thebeautiful woman named Psyche. The myth of Cupid and Psyche is told in the Metamorphoses of Apuleius. |
Psyche was the youngest daughter of a king and she had two older sisters. The two elder were charming girls, but the beauty of the
youngest was so wonderful that language is too poor to express its due praise. The fame of her beauty was so great that
strangers from neighboring countries came in crowds to enjoy the sight, and looked on her with amazement, paying her that homage
which is due only to Venus herself.
The goddess Venus, jealous and envious of the beauty of a mortal woman asked her son, Cupid, to use his golden arrows to cause Psyche to fall in love with the most vile creature on earth. Cupid agreed but then fell in love with Psyche on his own. He took her as his wife, but as a mortal she was forbidden to look at him.
| Psyche was happy until her sisters convinced her to look at Cupid. Cupid punished her by departing. Their lovely castle and gardens vanished with Cupid and Psyche found herself alone in an open field. As she wandered to find her love, she came upon the temple of Venus. Wishing to destroy her, the goddess of love gave Psyche a series of tasks, each harder and dangerous than the last. For her last task Psyche was given a little box and told to go to the
infernal shades, and give the box to Proserpine, and say, 'My
mistress Venus desires you to send her a little of your beauty,
for in tending her sick son she has lost come of her own.'
Psyche Opening the Door into Cupid's Garden,
drawing by John William Waterhouse
Click to enlarge this picture of Psyche
The Abduction of Psyche
this drawing of Cupid and Psyche by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Enlarge this Cupid and Psyche picture
If you want to download Cupid graphics from our site, right click any drowing of Cupid and save image to your PC. Please make link to our site if you will use this Cupid graphics.
During her trip she was given tips on avoiding the dangers of the realm of the dead. And also warned not to open the box. But having got so far successfully through her dangerous task a longing desire seized her to examine the contents of the box.
"What," said she, "shall I, the carrier of this divine beauty,not take the least bit to put on my cheeks to appear to more
advantage in the eyes of my beloved husband!:" So she carefully opened the box, but found nothing there of any beauty at all, but
an infernal and truly Stygian sleep, which being thus set free from its prison, took possession of her, and she fell down in the
midst of the road, a sleepy corpse without sense or motion.
But Cupid not able longer to bear the absence of his beloved Psyche flew to the spot where Psyche lay, and gathering up the sleep from her body closed it again in the box, and waked
Psyche with a light touch of one of his arrows. "Again," said he, "hast thou almost perished by the same curiosity. But now
perform exactly the task imposed on you by my mother, and I will take care of the rest."
Then Cupid, as swift as lightning penetrating the heights of heaven, presented himself before Jupiter with his supplication.
Jupiter lent a favoring ear, and pleaded the cause of the lovers so earnestly with Venus that he won her consent. On this he sent
Mercury to bring Psyche up to the heavenly assembly, and when she arrived, handing her a cup of ambrosia, he said, "Drink this,
Psyche, and be immortal; nor shall Cupid ever break away from the knot in which he is tied, but these nuptials shall be perpetual."
Thus Cupid and Psyche became at last united, and in due time they
had a daughter born to them whose name was Pleasure.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]