Love Cliché [Asia Campbell]

This gallery depicts Cupid, the Roman God of Love, also known as Eros in Greek mythology. It is said that the idea of Eros was created and influenced by Cupid, having many Gods and Deities coming from Roman folklore. This gallery depicts their various similarities through oil paintings.

This oil painting of "Cupid in a Tree" shows an infant Cupid sitting in a tree with a sweet and playful smile of his face. This painting resembles the innocence and honesty that Cupid is said to bring out within those who are struck with his arrows of love. The soft lighting of Jean-Jacque-François le Barbier painting frames the young Cupid as he [appears] to pick an arrow from the tree in which he resides, giving emphasis to his little body. The contrast between his pale skin and the shadows behind him gives value to the reflection of light from the “sun” as it sheds it’s light through the branches of the tree. The use of contrast also shows the fabric that surrounds the lower half of his body, giving texture to the fabric. Although this painting encompasses unity with this young cupid, the absence of his bow in his left hand throws the balance of this photo off. His bow and arrows of love are shown hanging in the tree in which he sits, leaving you to believe that he is collecting arrows, rather than using them.
This Bourgeois oil painting shows a young Cupid lying by the shore underneath a tree. The contrast of lighting that is shed on Cupid gives emphasis to the body, while letting the background of the body of water behind him fall out of focus. Cupid is seen lying on a log with his infamous arrow of love and bow, but there is also an unknown book that he is also resting on. This type of imagery gives the notion that is not only consistent with this mythological characters motive, but it gives mystery to what he is doing by the shoreline. He has a somewhat mischievous grin on his face, giving the idea that he is up to something or possibly planning on whom he will strike next with this arrow of love. If you look at the tip of his arrow, it appears that he is pricking his own index finger on the tip, possibly showing what happened before Cupid and Psyche meet and fall in love.
In this oil painting, Henry Howard depicts an adolescent Cupid clutching to his mother and renowned beauty, Venus. Next to them, there is a younger [possible apprentice of Cupid] winged deity. Venus is seen adjusting Cupid’s bow and arrows as he mischievously grins at the winged counterpart. This painting has a wonderful contrast of color, between the pale skins of each character to the texture of Venus’ robe; this painting has a natural brightness. In the top right corner, the infamous Venus doves are seen in the shadow of a tree, playfully catering to one another. The variety of characters, animals, and fabrics help create a unified painting.
William Adolphe Bouguereau showcases an adolescent Cupid attempting to strike a young maiden with his arrow of love. This photo shows a struggle between Cupid and the young maiden in a “push-and-pull” situation. The softness of the contrast of light depicts a hilltop in which they sit, while under the shadow of a tree. The proportionate background appears lighter in this oil painting, giving depth to the place in which they reside as well as the height in which they are at. The dynamic of movement is not shown in this painting, which makes this instance being captured as a still. Although the maiden appears to be struggling to keep Cupid away from her heart, she has a playful smirk on her face; whereas the determined Cupid has a look of concentration and strategy. The use of shadows on the maidens face versus the lightness of Cupid’s face gives the principle of emphasis of emotion on each character.
This oil painting is one of the lightest [in contrast] in this gallery. Manuel Ocaranza depicts an adolescent Cupid playing in a cupboard full of what appears to be poisons and elixirs. This variety of items holds the onlookers attention to various items in the cupboard such as an Owl, a serpent, a skull, and an hourglass; this directs the attention to the left side of the oil painting The lightness of contrast gives the shadow of the cupboard an ominous feeling; along with Cupid’s facial expression of curiosity. The wings of Cupid are not depicted like the normal feathered winged Cupid, they are fairy-like – giving the impression that he is somewhat of a nymph in this painting. The lighting also gives the sheer robe surrounding his body texture and weightlessness to his positioning on the stool. The texture of tile also stands out to the viewer, giving the feeling of Cupid trying these experiments in a palace of some sort.
Cupid and Psyche’s love affair is one of the most memorable mortal-to-God [or deity] love stories of all time. In this oil painting by Francisco de Goya, Cupid and Psyche are seen in what appears to be the princess Psyche’s quarters; The young adult Cupid, hovering over his beloved and Psyche is reaching to her with his extended hand and Psyche lying on her bed pulling back her bed curtain. The positive space that is illuminated by the contrast of light between the negative space and the light that is shining on the subjects. Their bodies are emphasized by the contrast of the dark background, making them more prominent in this photo and putting the focal point on their interaction.
This sepia toned oil painting shows Venus, the goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility [also known as Aphrodite in Greek mythology] is seen with her son, Cupid, whom is sleeping under a tree. This maternal painting by Jean-Baptiste Mallet shows movement within the clouds and sheer fabric surrounding Venus, as if she had come down from Mount Olympus to check on her beloved son. The use of texture on her fabric and the lines within that fabric shows the direction of the wind that is kicked up due to Venus’ chariot touching down on Earth. Venus is seen holding a leash to two of her favorite, Swans, that are resting inside a chariot. These swans tend to represent Inner Grace, Balance, and Commitment, according to Venus Mythology. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2016, from - Swan Power Animal Symbol Of Inner Grace Balance Commitment. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2016, from
“Pandora Crowned by the Seasons” - In this colorful depiction of Pandora accepting her role as goddess of curiosity, Cupid and Venus are seen overseeing her crowning. The movement of the Seasons above Pandora demonstrates the celebration that is taking place. The Seasons serve as directional lines, pulling your focus towards the crown. The reflective symmetry of the Seasons fills the top portion of this painting, again, pulling your focus to the crowning. The variety of complementary colors, shapes and positioning brings a vibrant color contrast, making their clothing, movements, and facial expressions makes the characters positioning stand out.
In this oil painting by Alphonse Legros, Cupid is seen swooning over his lover, Psyche, who is sleeping in a garden [assuming at her home. The depth of the background contrasts with the foreground, giving the feeling of the two of them being in a secluded place. The contrast of lighting on Psyche is suttle, but pulls the characters into the focus. The use of complementary colors, green and red, draws your eye to the texture of their garments, while the background fades into a shadow, and then into vibrant color again, making them appear to be in a meadow or clearing.
This sketch/oil painting depicts the playfulness and excitement of the relationship that Cupids and Nymphs have. The directional movement of the positioning of the Nymphs gives the on looker a feeling as if they are watching them dance. The uses of tetradic colors bring softness to the image, giving the characters a more prominent look while the background stays neutral. The variety of the character movements helps focus your attention on each one individually and collectively; they appear to be independently interacting as a group.