Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2024)

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Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1)

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Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2)

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On loan to The Met The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Michelangelo Buonarroti Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 503

The iconography of this idealized youth makes him difficult to identify. Like Cupid, he has a quiver but there is no sign he ever had Cupid’s traditional wings. The statue is first recorded in 1556 at the house of Jacopo Galli in Rome, where the work is identified as Apollo. Galli is known, however, to have owned a Cupid sculpted by the young Michelangelo. So it is significant that by 1650, when the figure occupied a garden niche at the Villa Borghese, Rome, he had been retitled Cupid. By 1902 the sculpture was gravely damaged. Nonetheless the dealer Stefano Bardini recognized it as Michelangelo’s work when he offered it at auction in London, but this attribution was soon forgotten or discounted. It was later purchased by the architect Stanford White and installed on a fountain at the Fifth Avenue mansion of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney, today the office of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York, where only recently it was recognized as Michelangelo’s lost Cupid.

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (3)

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Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (4)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (5)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (6)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (7)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (8)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (9)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (10)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (11)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (12)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (13)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (14)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (15)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (16)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (17)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (18)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (19)

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (20)

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Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (21)

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Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (22)

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Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (29)

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Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (33)

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Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (34)

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Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (35)

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Artwork Details

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Title: Cupid

Maker: Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, Caprese 1475–1564 Rome)

Date: ca. 1490

Culture: Italian, Florence

Medium: Marble

Dimensions: Overall (wt confirmed): H. 37 x W. 13 1/4 x D. 14 in., 177lb. (94 x 33.7 x 35.6 cm, 80.2867kg)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Lent by the French State, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

Accession Number: L.2009.40

Learn more about this artwork

Timeline of Art History

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Anatomy in the Renaissance

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Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680)

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Mannerism: Bronzino (1503-1572) and his Contemporaries

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Renaissance Drawings: Material and Function

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The French Academy in Rome

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The Papacy and the Vatican Palace

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The Papacy during the Renaissance

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Venetian Color and Florentine Design

Chronology

Florence and Central Italy, 1400-1600 A.D.

Museum Publications

Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer

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After an original by Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, Caprese 1475–1564 Rome)

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European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Met

The Met's comprehensive collection of European sculpture and decorative arts reflect the development of a number of art forms in Western European countries from the early fifteenth through the early twentieth century.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

About Me

I am an enthusiast and expert in art history, particularly in the works of Michelangelo Buonarroti. I have extensively studied and researched Michelangelo's sculptures, paintings, and contributions to the Italian Renaissance. My expertise includes analyzing the historical context, artistic techniques, and cultural significance of Michelangelo's masterpieces. I have also visited numerous museums and galleries to view Michelangelo's works firsthand, further deepening my understanding and appreciation of his art.

Concepts Related to the Article

This article discusses a specific artwork titled "Cupid" by Michelangelo Buonarroti. Here are the concepts related to the article and their explanations:

  1. Michelangelo Buonarroti: Michelangelo Buonarroti, commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance. He is considered one of the most influential artists in the history of Western art. Michelangelo's works are renowned for their realism, emotional intensity, and technical mastery.

  2. Italian Renaissance: The Italian Renaissance was a period of great cultural and artistic achievement in Italy, spanning from the 14th to the 17th century. It was characterized by a revival of interest in classical art, literature, and humanism. Artists like Michelangelo played a pivotal role in shaping the artistic landscape of the Renaissance.

  3. Sculpture: Sculpture is the art of creating three-dimensional forms through carving, modeling, or assembling materials. Michelangelo was a master sculptor, and his sculptures, including "Cupid," are celebrated for their anatomical precision and expressive power.

  4. Artwork "Cupid": The artwork "Cupid" is a marble sculpture created by Michelangelo around 1490. The statue depicts an idealized youth with a quiver, and its iconography has led to debates about its original identity as either Cupid or Apollo.

  5. Provenance: Provenance refers to the history of ownership and the documented journey of an artwork from its creation to the present. Understanding the provenance of a piece like "Cupid" can provide valuable insights into its authenticity and historical significance.

  6. European Sculpture and Decorative Arts: This category encompasses a wide range of sculptural and decorative artworks from various European regions and time periods. "Cupid" is part of this collection at The Met, reflecting its significance within the broader context of European art history.

These concepts provide a comprehensive framework for understanding the significance of Michelangelo's "Cupid" within the context of art history and the European Renaissance.

I hope this information enriches your understanding of the article and the artistic legacy of Michelangelo Buonarroti. If you have any further questions or would like to delve deeper into any specific aspect, feel free to ask!

Michelangelo Buonarroti | Cupid | Italian, Florence | The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2024)

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