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Bow-carving Amor

around 1534/39, Artist: Francesco Mazzola gen. Parmigianino



Bow-carving Amor

The inspiration for his painting was possibly provided by a sculpture that Parmigianino may have seen in 1530 in the Grimani collection in Venice. Indeed, Eros/Amor/Cupid looks like a painted sculpture. The theme may be based on a concept of late antiquity in which Eros, Himeros (Desire) and Pothos (Longing) were seen as an erotic triad. In the Renaissance it was redefined as heavenly and earthly love. Here Parmigianino is commenting on the difficulty of deciding between these two forms of love.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kabinett 3

Object data

Object Name



Italian, Emilian


around 1534/39


Francesco Mazzola gen. Parmigianino (1503 Parma - 1540 Casalmaggiore) - GND




Overall: 135,5 cm × 65 cm
Framed: 157,5 cm × 89 cm × 5 cm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Inv. No.

Gemäldegalerie, 275


Francesco Baiardo/Marcantonio Cavalca 1561; until 1585 Antonio Perez, former state sColl.etary of Philip II; Philip II until 1598; Philip III until 1605; Rudolf II until 1610/1619; Vienna Hofburg/treasury until 1747; since 1783 in the gallery in Vienna

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