Artworks
Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time
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mhoutzager's picture

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Tons of action here, not much agreement among art historians on what it all means.

For sure Cupid is kissing his mother, Venus, on the mouth (whaat?) while fondling her left breast (yes), and sticking his rear end out too far.

 

The little putto (mischievous chubby boy) on the right seems delighted to be there, while the old woman on the left does not. Father Time, in the upper right, looks pretty upset about the whole thing, too.

 

Cupid's foot is perhaps the most famous element of the whole painting, because it is "the foot" used by Terry Gilliam in the Monte Python show cartoon intro to crush people while making a farting sound. See it here at 0:24. The BBC owns the trademark.

 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time

Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time (also called An Allegory of Venus and Cupid and A Triumph of Venus) is an allegorical painting of about 1545 by the Florentine painter Agnolo Bronzino. It is now in the National Gallery, London. Scholars do not know for certain what the painting depicts.

The painting has come to be known as Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time, and it is generally agreed that these are the principal figures (with "Folly" representing this or the personification of a similar concept). Cupid and Venus kiss in the foreground, while the putto Folly prepares to shower them with rose petals. The bald Time, at the top, looks on and holds a cloth. The meaning of the other three figures and the interactions between them all is much less certain. The painting displays the ambivalence, eroticism, and obscure imagery that are characteristic of the Mannerist period, and of Bronzino's master Pontormo.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time.