Nov 20, 2007

Allegory of Carnal Love

Allegory of Carnal Love

c. 1530

Cristofano Robetta

(Italian, 1462-after 1534)


Image: 29.7 x 27.8 cm (11 11/16 x 10 15/16 in.); Sheet: 29.7 x 27.8 cm (11 11/16 x 10 15/16 in.)

Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1923.744

Catalogue raisonné: Hind I.205.29



Trained as a goldsmith in Florence, Robetta also made engravings, primarily of biblical and mythological narratives. Perhaps an allegory involving themes of physical love, fertility, and mortality, the message of this frieze-like scene is not clear. Cupid, the only easily identified mythical figure, binds the central man’s arm to a tree, suggesting he is love’s captive. Long sashes of cloth entangle the groups of men and women, including the androgynous figure on the far left. The children suggest the fertility of life, although one boy steps on a skull, a reminder of the inevitability of death.

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

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