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Cupid Triumphant, 1897-1899
Executed by Rasmus Andersen under the supervision of Th. Stein after the original plaster 1814, inv.no. A22
Marble. 144 cm
Inventory number: A804
The fact that the god of love, Cupid, is the figure most commonly seen in Thorvaldsen’s art is related to Cupid’s also being the most powerful figure in classical mythology – not because he is physically strong, but because he represents the power to which both human beings and gods are subject. Cupid Triumphant is about Cupid’s superior power in relation to the gods. “Triumphant” is not to be understood here as “exultant”; there is no self-satisfied malicious delight in the way in which Cupid is looking at the arrow’s point. “Triumphant” means purely and simply “victorious” – victorious over the other gods: Hercules is one of the first to have thrown in the towel in the form of the lion skin hanging over the tree stump behind Cupid. Apollo has handed over his beloved lyre to Cupid: it stands behind the tree stump; Jupiter has placed his thunderbolt at Cupid’s feet, and Mars has surrendered his helmet. Thorvaldsen executed the original model in Rome in 1814.