I came across this comic by Bruce Tinsley that makes humor of the current state of hyperconsciousness which is alienated from cultural traditions. Much of the ugliness in current culture is due to this impoverished state of mind. In the 19th century no one would think twice about an image of Cupid. The comic is rather in insightful in showing how the media can manipulate perception and how that perception can effect individuals’ lives. Cupid should not be forced to find a new line of work and neither should artists.
Luigi Bienaimé (1795-1878) was an Italian Neoclassical sculptor. Bienaimé’s family was originally from Belgium, but he was born in Carrara on March 4, 1795. Bienaimé started his studies at the Carrara Academy. Thanks to a grant from the same institution, to complete his education, he moved to Rome (1818), where he studied in the studio of Bertel Thorvaldsen. Bienaimé remained in Rome permanently until his death.
Bienaimé was commissioned a number of works by the Russian court in St Peterberg, including a Marriage for the Czar, a Bacchante dancing, a Diana surprised, and a Psyche abandoned by Love. Several of Bienaimé’s sculptures are in the collection of the Hermitage.
I believe Bienaimé’s Cupid Feeding Doves is the most imaginative of his works. The subject is not refered to in James Hall’s Dictionary of Subjects & Symbols in Art and I am not aware of any other artist who had depicted the charming narrative. The cup Cupid holds may signify divine love. Celestial Venus holds a similar cup in Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love.
Unfortunately, none of my web searches for the work gave the date of its creation.
When I was searching for images of Cupid Feeding Doves, I discovered that the Villa Carlotta in Northern Italy has a copy. Today the Villa Carlotta hosts civil weddings.