In the Roman version, Cupid was the son of Venus (goddess of love) and Mars. In the Greek version he was named Eros and seen as one of the primordial gods (though other myths exist aswell). Cupid was often depicted with wings, a bow, and a quiver of arrows. The following story is almost identical in both cultures; the most familiar version is found in Ovid's Metamorphoses. WhenCupid's mother Venus became jealous of the princess Psyche, who was so beloved by her subjects that they forgot to worship Venus, she ordered Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with the vilest thing inthe world. While Cupid was sneaking into her room to shoot Psyche with a golden arrow, he accidentally scratched himself with his own arrow and fell deeply in love with her.
Following that, Cupidvisited Psyche every night while she slept. Speaking to her so that she could not see him, he told her never to try to see him. Psyche, though, incited by her two older sisters who told her Cupid was amonster, tried to look at him and angered Cupid. When he left, she looked all over the known world for him until at last the leader of the gods, Jupiter, gave Psyche the gift of immortality so that shecould be with him. Together they had a daughter, Voluptas, or Hedone, (meaning pleasure) and Psyche became a goddess. Her name "Psyche" means "soul."
Caravaggio's Amor Vincit OmniaIn painting and sculpture, Cupid is often portrayed as a nude (or sometimes diapered) winged boy or baby (a putto) armed with a bow and a quiver of arrows.
The Hindu Kāma also has a very similardescription. On gems and other surviving pieces, he is usually shown amusing himself with childhood play, sometimes driving a hoop, throwing darts, catching a butterfly, or flirting with a nymph. He isoften depicted with his mother (in graphic arts, this is nearly always Venus), playing a horn. In other images, his mother is depicted scolding or even spanking him due to his mischievous nature. He...