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Statuette - Cupid playing a harp

Cupid playing a harp

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    17th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Roccatagliata, Nicolò (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gilt bronze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a gilt bronze statuette made in the early 17th century Italy. The statuette represents Cupid playing on a harp and was originally part of the mounts or metal enrichments of a piece of furniture.

This statuette belongs to a group of putti, seven of which are in the V&A collection, mostly holding flutes, harps, tambourines and violins in their hands. They are generally attributed to Nicolò Roccatagliata (active about 1593-1636), although similar pieces were also produced in the workshops of Giuseppe de Levis and Andrea di Alessandro del Brescianino. However, the excellent quality of the cast and gilding, as well as the delicately chiselled drapery, hair and wings, allow us to ascribe them to the studio of Roccatagliata.
The majority of these small bronzes were probably made to decorate chairs, wardrobes and other pieces of furniture, as embellishments of this type were extremely popular at the end of the sixteenth century.

Physical description

Bronze gilt, a Cupid playing on a harp.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)


17th century (made)


Roccatagliata, Nicolò (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Gilt bronze


Height: 14.6 cm, Width: 7.62 cm

Object history note

Bought from the Soulages Collection for 16s. 8d. in 1865.

Descriptive line

Statuette, gilt bronze, for a furniture decoration representing Cupid playing on a harp, ascribed to Nicolò Roccatagliata, Italy, early 17th 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. 57
Robinson, John Charles. Catalogue of the Soulages Collection. London: Chapman & Hall, 1856, p. 120
Binnebeke, Emile van.Bronze sculpture : sculpture from 1500-1800 in the collection of the Boymans-van Beuningen Museum. Rotterdam : Het Museum, 1994, pp. 74-75, cat. no. 14


Gilt bronze

Subjects depicted



Sculpture; Furniture


Sculpture Collection

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