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A Victorian statuary marble figure of Cupid
the young putto modelled on a stylised rock with his right index finger held to his lips, his quiver at his side, raised on a circular plinth,
The original marble statue (probably the one at The Rijksmuseum rather than The Louvre) by Étienne Maurice Falconet (1716-1791) was commissioned after Marie Antoinette saw the sculptor’s plaster original at a Salon of 1755 and had it carved for her Paris residence L’Hôtel d’Évreux – better known today as the Elysee Palace. It has been much reproduced since.
Here though the sculptor, probably English, has allowed themselves some interpretative leeway. The putto is seated on a naturalistic rock rather than a cloud and, being terrestrially based, is wing-less. The central, slightly menacing, message of piece remains: the boy is surreptitiously reaching for a love-dart and the viewer is invited to share in his mischievous and secretive intent. It is for this that the statue is often referred to as “L’Amour Menaçant”.