The young Cupid, following Virgil's saying "Amor vincit omnia" (Love conquers all), triumphs over science, art, fame and power, whose symbols are strewn at his feet: musical instruments, straight-edge, laurel wreath, and pieces of armour. The boy's ambiguous mocking smile and the provocatively importunate pose suggest that earthly love is mocking the highest moral and intellectual values of human ambition. The boy's precarious position, with his left leg an the edge of a draped bed, so that his genitals thrust almost into the centre of the picture, strikes a homoerotic note. The chiaroscuro and the incredibly natural quality of the figures are typical of Caravaggio.


  • Title: Cupid as Victor
  • Creator: Caravaggio
  • Creator Lifespan: 1571-09-29/1610-07-18
  • Creator Death Place: Porto Ercole, Itlay
  • Creator Birth Place: Milan, Italy
  • Date Created: around 1601
  • Physical Dimensions: w113.3 x h156.5 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Text: © Prestel Verlag / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Stefan Morét, Photo: © b p k - Photo Agency / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Style: Italian
  • Copyright Text: Text: © <a href="http://www.prestel.com">Prestel Verlag</a> / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Stefan MorétAudio: © Tonwelt / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer KulturbesitzPhoto: © <a href="http://www.bpk-images.de">b p k - Photo Agency</a> / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist information: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio is known as an Italian artist who lived and worked in various cities in Italy and had a decisive impact on the early Baroque school of painting. He is famous for his development of chiaroscuro which gave his paintings a distinctive character by darkening the shadows and transfixing the subject in a blinding shaft of light. These effects created a three-dimensionality in the figures that gave an uncanny impression of likeness to real human beings. Caravaggio aspired to show a non-idealized vision of reality. His followers, known as the 'Caravaggisti', adopted chiaroscuro and the realism of his portrayal that showed ordinariness in an unpalliated way. Artworks of Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Jan Vermeer and Diego Velázquez reflect influences by Caravaggio. After his death he was nearly forgotten but his reputation experienced a resurgence in the 20th century. Famous paintings of his include 'Judith Beheading Holofernes' (1598-1599) or 'Amor Vincit Omnia' (1601-1602).
  • Artist Gender: male

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