Venus and Cupid, ca. 1525–27
Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, 1472–1553)
Oil on panel; 4 13/16 in. (12.2 cm)
The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982 (1982.60.48)
In this delicate palm-sized roundel, Venus turns away from Cupid, whose agitated gesture and urgent pleas for attention go unnoticed. Cupid is missing his bow and arrow and thus his means of inflaming ardent love in humans. Instead of admonishing the viewer about the dangers of love, this sensuous Venus and her frustrated son are intended to amuse and delight. Cranach produced such diminutive roundels between 1525 and 1527 for discerning collectors who installed them with other precious objects in a studiolo or Kunstkammer.