Catching up with Cupid – Happy Valentine’s Day from the Italian Art Society! 

Across the many depictions of Cupid seen in art history, 16th-century painter Agnolo di Cosimo (better known as Bronzino) undoubtedly rendered one of the most intriguing interpretations in his painting An Alleogry with Venus and Cupid (1540-1545). Alternately titled Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time, this is perhaps a painting mentioned by Vasari in his 1568 edition of Lives of the Artists.

Interpretation of elements within this painting still remain elusive. Nevertheless,  one can note that the figures included allude to the joy, pain, and overall folly of love, with the amorous and somewhat playful foreground figures juxtaposed against the looming figure of Time (at the upper right) and the sorrowful figure in anguish at center left, often interpreted as Jealousy. 

Agnolo di Cosimo (Bronzino), An Allegory with Venus and Cupid (Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time), 1540-1545. Oil on panel. 146 by 116 cm. National Gallery, 

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