Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Relief - The Education of Cupid
  • The Education of Cupid
    Camelio Vittore Gambello, born 1460 - died 1537
  • Enlarge image

The Education of Cupid

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Venice (or Padua, made)

  • Date:

    late 15th or early 16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Camelio Vittore Gambello, born 1460 - died 1537 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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.

Physical description

Vulcan repairing the wings of Cupid, and Cupid instructed by Mercury. Minerva, Mars and other gods are introduced.

Place of Origin

Venice (or Padua, made)


late 15th or early 16th century (made)


Camelio Vittore Gambello, born 1460 - died 1537 (artist)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 17.5 cm, Width: 25 cm

Object history note

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.

Descriptive line

Relief, bronze, Vulcan forging the wings of Cupid, ascribed to Vittore Gambello (Camelio), Venetian, late 15th or early 16th century

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

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
VIII. 47
Gregori, Mina (ed.), In the light of Apollo : Italian Renaissance and Greece, Athens : The Hellenic Culture Organization, 2003






Sculpture Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.