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Group - Cupid kindling the torch of Hymen
  • Cupid kindling the torch of Hymen
    Rennie, George, born 1802 - died 1860
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Cupid kindling the torch of Hymen

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1831 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rennie, George, born 1802 - died 1860 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Included in the sale of the collection of the sculptor held at Christies & Manson, London, in 1843. On loan to the Museum from 1868, and acquired in 1936.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 22, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries, case FS

This marble group 'Cupid kindling the torch on Hymen' is made by George Rennie (1802-1860) in England in ca. 1831. Cupid, the god of love, here holds the torch of Hymen, the god of marriage. This classical subject was typical of Rennie’s work; he studied under Bertel Thorvaldsen in Rome in the 1820s, and was much influenced by the Danish sculptor’s style, which echoed the sculpture of ancient Greece. Rennie supported the establishment of the Government School of Design in the 1840s, which was a forerunner of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Physical description

Statue, group in marble. Hymen, a naked youth wearing a chaplet of roses, stands with a torch in his right hand. With his left he embraces Cupid who stands beside him. Cupid rests his left hand on his bow and places his right on the shoulder of Hymen. He inclines his head to blow on the torch. The group is supported from the back by drapery which falls from Hymen's left arm on to an altar. Signed.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1831 (made)


Rennie, George, born 1802 - died 1860 (maker)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

on the left of base


Weight: 298 kg, Width: 54 cm maximum - base dimension, Depth: 48 cm maximum - base dimension, Height: 154 cm approximate

Object history note

Included in the sale of the collection of the sculptor held by Messrs Christie & Manson, King Street, London, on 9 June, lot 43. Originally on loan from W.H. Rennie Esq., 19 Victoria Street, Westminster, London from February 1868. From 1918 various attempts to contact the lender or its rightful successive owner failed; communication with a Brig. Gen. George A.P. Rennie during 1934 and 1936 suggested that no descendant could be found, and that the Museum should consider the group its own. The object was consequently registered by the Museum in 1936. Given by W.H Rennie, 1831.

Descriptive line

Group, marble, Cupid kindling the torch of Hymen, by George Rennie, England, ca. 1831

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bilbey, Diane with Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470 to 2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V& A Publications, 2002, p. 350, cat. no. 526
Graves, A., The Royal Academy of Arts. A Complete Dictionary of Contributors and their work from its foundation in 1769 to 1904, (8 vols), 1905-1906, VI, p. 266, no. 1196
Gunnis, R., Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, (revised edition, first published London 1953), London, 1968, p. 318



Subjects depicted

Roses (flowers); Torches (lighting devices)


Sculpture; Myths & Legends


Sculpture Collection

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