With a renewed interest in classical art’s humanism, Renaissance artists represented Cupid as a realistic child. The figure continued to appear younger, culminating in portrayals that look like toddlers and even infants. This characteristic is apparent in both Italian and Northern Renaissance depictions, like Cupid in a Landscape and Cupid Complaining to Venus, respectively.
During the Italian Renaissance, many artists began to include several Cupids in a single painting. Known initially as amorini, these figures eventually evolved into putti, cherubic children found in many mythological and even biblical scenes of the period.
During the Baroque period, artists continued to incorporate several Cupids into their mythology-inspired paintings. Unlike the amorini and putti of the Renaissance, however, the figures painted by Baroque artists appear playful, emphasizing their youth and downplaying Cupid’s godly role and power.
Rococo artists also embraced this approach to Cupid. It is particularly apparent in the pastel-colored paintings of François Boucher, a French artist who incorporated groups of Cupids in most of his mythological works.
This iconography remained popular throughout the Neoclassical period, a movement inspired by classical artists’ sense of balance and focus on the human figure. Following this period, however, artists abandoned this approach to Cupid, opting instead for more avant-garde interpretations.