Vintage print, "Couple in Love" by François Boucher. Displayed in an antique gold frame.
The Antiquary's Story:
As we know, Rococo art featured decorative, lighthearted and whimsical studies of love and myth. Flirty, amorous and sometimes erotic, the artists of the time also embraced the symbolism of cherubs, seen here in “Couple in Love.”
Throughout history, the cherub was represented in three main ways: the highly spiritual Judeo-Christian winged angel; the Greco-Roman Cupid or Eros; and the Renaissance “putti”.
When we see these three representations, we can almost always assume they follow the same construct. Biblical cherubs were purely spiritual, and the name stems from the Hebrew word “kerub,” meaning one who blesses. Their symbolism is always highly religious.
For Greek and Roman depictions, Cupid’s arrows marked love or passion in his every victim—there was mischief to his ways. And the Renaissance “putti” were often depicted as a nude, chubby child figures with wings, representing light heartedness and earthly love.