Historical Description by the artist:
Eros – God of Love The chubby cherub with his bow and quiver, favorite image on Valentines, bears little resemblance to the earliest conceptions of Eros, the Greek god of love. His origins are obscure; some say that He was hatched from a silver egg laid in the womb of darkness. Later it was claimed that He was the son of Aphrodite and variously named gods including: Ares, Zeus and Hermes. But long before Aphrodite was imported into the Olympian pantheon, the Greeks worshipped a god of sexual potency named Eros in the form of a standing stone at Thespiae in Boeotia.
Hesiod makes Eros one of the oldest of the gods, representing Him as the powerful seminal force that attracts and unites the cosmic forces creating the universe, "bringing harmony to chaos" and enabling life to exist. The changing conception of the god is reflected in art, in which Eros remains perpetually youthful, even growing steadily younger.
He is represented as a youth in archaic times, as a young boy in the classical period, and becomes a baby by later Hellenistic and Roman times. He finally gets muddled up with angels and cherubs in later Christian sentimental iconography. This encroaching babyhood seems almost a sad metaphor for the infantilization of male sexuality.
Eros is portrayed as having wings to represent the fleeting nature of passion and carrying a torch to symbolize the flame He kindles in others. He possesses terrifying power over gods and men, sometimes even shown wielding a whip. At the same time, Eros is the embodiment of all beautiful things: he walks on a carpet of flowers and wears a crown of roses. Indeed, the rose is His special emblem, for, though sweetly perfumed, it bears a cruel sharp thorn. Sappho describes Eros with contradictory qualities as “bittersweet”. Doves, butterflies, cocks, lions and nightingales are all sacred to Him. Sometimes
He is shown standing on a war helmet, signifying that love conquers all. He has two kinds of arrows: one of gold, inspiring love; and the other of lead, inspiring indifference. The Eros of Classical myth is wickedly mischievous; choosing unlikely targets to demonstrate how erotic love knows no boundaries and trespasses into perverse and forbidden relationships. Yet in Apuleius’ romance of Eros and Psyche the god of love is shown at his most tender and human. He falls in love with Psyche, a mortal so beautiful that she arouses the wrath of Aphrodite herself. In the end, Love triumphs and Psyche, who embodies the human soul, is made equal to the gods.
From Cosmic Force of Attraction to a youth in the throes of Love, to infantilized Cupid and then once again becoming an abstract symbol in modern psychology; Eros keeps coming around full circle. Still the God remains as a unifying power of creative passion, bringing beauty and ecstasy to ennoble our spirits.
Size: 8.75″ Tall
Resin – Ivory Finish