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El amor victorioso

Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany

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Caravaggio, 1602

Baroque
Tenebrism
oil
canvas
mythological painting

Cupid, the god of love stand upon the trampled symbols of music, science, war, and government, illustrating Virgil’s line: “love conquers all; let us all yield to love!” Caravaggio’s depiction of Cupid, rather than the cherub-like, idealized boy, is realistic, from the crooked grin to the tousled head of hair. The painting was commissioned by a rich patron Vincenzo Guistanini, who retained it in his possession and reportedly loved it above all others. The painting was an immediate success, and inspired contemporary artworks, including poems and epigrams along the same theme.

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