Often depicted as a winged, naïve boy wielding a bow and arrow, the image of Cupid is a deeply rooted symbol in art and mythology, representing the whimsical and unpredictable nature of love. While the presence of wings may suggest an ordinary angel, Cupid’s signature trait is that he uses a bow and arrow to pierce hearts and instigate love.


Portrait of Cupid
Cupid, or Eros in Greek mythology, is traditionally depicted as a youthful figure embodying the innocence and capriciousness of love. One of the most iconic representations of Cupid can be found in Renaissance art, where his image was often used to symbolise the tenderness and passion of love.

One of the most famous sculptures is Antonio Canova’s Cupid’s Kiss Resurrecting Psyche. Created at the end of the 18th century, this masterpiece captures the moment when Cupid resurrects Psyche with a kiss, a mythological scene in which love triumphs over death. Unlike the mischievous children often depicted in art, Canova’s Cupid is portrayed as a strikingly beautiful young man who embodies the ideal of romantic love.


Cupid’s Bow and Arrow
Bows and arrows are not just decorative, but are central to understanding Cupid’s role in myth and art. These tools allowed him to touch the hearts of gods and mortals alike, causing them to fall deeply in love. This imagery has permeated art for centuries, maintaining its symbolism and relevance.


From myth to modern symbolism: the heart as a symbol of love
The transition from the mythological image of Cupid to the modern symbol of love, the heart, is a fascinating evolution in the representation of emotion and desire. Often depicted in red, the heart has become universally recognised as a symbol of love, in large part because of its association with the physical and emotional centre of the human being.

The heart symbol is particularly prominent during Valentine’s Day and owes much of its romantic connotations to the legend of Cupid. When the arrow pierces the heart, it symbolises not only the fragility of love, but also its power, echoing the ancient myth that Cupid’s arrow ignites the passion of love.


Celebrating Love: Valentine’s Day and Cupid’s Legacy
As Valentine’s Day approaches, the image of Cupid and the heart symbol serve as a reminder of the enduring power of love and its ability to touch every human soul. This day celebrates not only romantic love, but love in all its forms and the joy they bring to our lives.


May this Valentine’s Day inspire you to embrace love in all its forms and cherish the connections that bring warmth and light into your life. Let Cupid’s legacy with his bow and arrow remind us of the beauty of love’s unexpected moments and the importance of expressing our affection and gratitude to those we love.

Happy Valentine’s Day! May your day be filled with love, joy and the precious company of your loved ones.


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