Eros, the ancient Greek god of love, is captured in this exquisite sculpture exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of New York sleeping peacefully.
It is likely a religious sculpture that was dedicated to a sanctuary in honor of the gods of ancient Greece.
As a video produced by Met says, the artist has captured the moment where the god of love, as a child, has just fallen asleep. The artist is capturing the purity and innocence of love, which is different of how he was portrayed in earlier works often as cruel and capricious.
Eros sculpture captures the purity and innocence of love
One of the few bronze statues to have survived from antiquity, this figure of a plump baby in relaxed pose conveys a sense of the immediacy and naturalistic detail that the medium of bronze made possible.
This statue is the finest example of its kind. Judging from a large number of extant replicas, the type was popular in Hellenistic and, especially, Roman times. In the Roman period, Sleeping Eros statues decorated villa gardens and fountains.
Their function in the Hellenistic period is less clear, Met says. They may have been used as dedications within a sanctuary of Aphrodite or possibly may have been erected in a public park or private, even royal, garden.
From Renaissance painters, all the way to today’s filmmakers, Psyche and Eros (or “Cupid”) have served as great sources of inspiration, and have been featured in many great — and sometimes, lesser — works of art in a plethora of variations.