The Cupid Seller

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Marble sculpture in relief depicting a seated woman presenting a baby with wings to two other women, one of which seated and the other standing. Another baby with wings stands in the background and a third is in trapped in a cage in the foreground.

Claude Michel, called Clodion (1738–1814)
The Cupid Seller (La marchande d’amours), c. 1765–70
Marble
10 7/8 x 11 3/4 in. (27.6 x 29.8 cm)
Private Collection

Clodion uses the purity and permanence of marble to portray with calm dignity this playful scene of the vending of love. The relief underscores the appeal of the Cupid Seller subject in the late eighteenth century since it may be a commission after the earlier terracotta by Clodion at left. Celebrated for his mastery of modeling in clay, the artist here demonstrates his equally refined technique in marble, as seen in his sensitive articulation of the folds of the female figures’ garments and of the minute feathers of the cupids’ wings.