The Education of Cupid

Relief
late 15th or early 16th century (made)
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is a bronze relief ascribed to Vittor Gambello (Camelio), made in Venice or Padua in the late 15th or early 16th century. The relief represents Vulcan forging the wings of Cupid and Cupid instructed by Mercury. Minerva, Mars and other gods are also introduced.

Two versions exist, the one here at the Victoria and Albert Museum and one in the Ca d'Oro in Venice. This relief might reproduce a lost original for on both versions an exectuion of detail is missing. In around 1495 the relief was apparently well known in Venice as it is described by Francesco Colonna and even copied by Carpaccio. The relief is ascribed to Camelio, but this fact is under doubt and does not convince.

Camelio, also called Vittore Gambello was a Venetian sculptor, goldsmith, coin-engraver, founder and medallist (b. 1460; d. 1539). His career ranges from 1484 - 1523. The invention of cutting dies in steel is attributed to him. This technique allowed more minute work to be introduced into medals, marking a new era in medallic engraving.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Bronze
Brief Description
Relief, bronze, Vulcan forging the wings of Cupid, ascribed to Vittore Gambello (Camelio), Venetian, late 15th or early 16th century
Physical Description
Vulcan repairing the wings of Cupid, and Cupid instructed by Mercury. Minerva, Mars and other gods are introduced.
Dimensions
  • Height: 17.5cm
  • Width: 25cm
Object history
This object was purchased in 1865 for £19 from a sale at the Pourtalès Collection in Paris, where many Italian art objects were being sold as a result of their flooding the market after the Napolenic wars.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This is a bronze relief ascribed to Vittor Gambello (Camelio), made in Venice or Padua in the late 15th or early 16th century. The relief represents Vulcan forging the wings of Cupid and Cupid instructed by Mercury. Minerva, Mars and other gods are also introduced.



Two versions exist, the one here at the Victoria and Albert Museum and one in the Ca d'Oro in Venice. This relief might reproduce a lost original for on both versions an exectuion of detail is missing. In around 1495 the relief was apparently well known in Venice as it is described by Francesco Colonna and even copied by Carpaccio. The relief is ascribed to Camelio, but this fact is under doubt and does not convince.



Camelio, also called Vittore Gambello was a Venetian sculptor, goldsmith, coin-engraver, founder and medallist (b. 1460; d. 1539). His career ranges from 1484 - 1523. The invention of cutting dies in steel is attributed to him. This technique allowed more minute work to be introduced into medals, marking a new era in medallic engraving.
Bibliographic References
  • Inventory of Art Objects acquired in the Year 1865. Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol. 1. London : Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 48
  • Pope-Hennessy, John. Italian Bronze Statuettes. Burlington Magazine. 105, 1963, p. 23
  • Pope-Hennessy, John. The Italian Plaquette. British Academy, 1964, p. 76
  • Ferino-Pagden, Sylvia, Isabella D'Este: Fürstin und Mäzenatin der Renaissance, Vienna: Kunsthistorisches Museum, 1994.
  • Ebert-Schifferer, Sybille, Natur und Antike in der Renaissance, Frankfurt: Liebieghaus - Museum Alter Plastik, 1985.
  • Pope-Hennessy, John Wyndham and Santangelol Antonio. Italian Bronze Statuettes . London : Arts Council, 1961
  • Gregori, Mina (ed.), In the light of Apollo : Italian Renaissance and Greece, Athens : The Hellenic Culture Organization, 2003VIII. 47
Collection
Accession Number
67-1865

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record createdApril 1, 2008
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