Augusta Stylianou Gallery
Michelangelo created two sculptures of Cupid, the first of which was a forgery designed to look like an antique sculpture, through which he first came to the attention of patrons in Rome. Both works are now lost.
In 1496, Michelangelo made a sleeping Cupid figure and treated it with acidic earth to make it seem ancient. He then sold it to a dealer, Baldassare del Milanese, who in turn sold it to Cardinal Riario of San Giorgio who later learned of the fraud and demanded his money back. However Michelangelo was permitted to keep his share of the money. When Michelangelo offered to take the sculpture back from Baldassarre, the latter refused saying he would rather destroy the "bambino," bambino being Italian for "child."
The importance of the cupid is that it directed attention to Michelangelo's talents at sculpting for the first time. The sculpture was later donated by Cesare Borgia to Isabella d'Este, and later it was probably collected by Charles I of England when all the Gonzaga collections were bought and taken to London in the seventeenth century.
In 1698, it was probably destroyed in the great fire in the Palace of Whitehall, London.
A later sculpture, of Cupid in a standing position, was executed for Riario's banker, Jacopo Gallo.
1. ^ a b c Sheila Gibson Stoodley (August 2008). "Misadventures in Collecting". Arts and Antiques. http://www.artsandantique.net/Articles/Miscellaneous/Featured-Misadventures-in-Collecting.asp.
2. ^ "Michelangelo's Cupid". Museum of Hoaxes. http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/archive/permalink/michelangelos_cupid/. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
3. ^ Rona Goffen (2004). Renaissance rivals: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Rafael, Titian. Yale University Press. p. 409, note 83.
4. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). "Bambino, Il". Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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