By Jean-Louis Lemoyne / La Crainte des Traits de l'Amour / 18th century (1739-40)By Jean-Louis Lemoyne
La Crainte des Traits de l'Amour
18th century (1739-40)

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Creator Name: Lemoyne, Jean-Louis
Creator Role: Sculptor
Creator Dates/Places: 1665-1755
Creator Name-CRT: By Jean-Louis Lemoyne
Title: La Crainte des Traits de l'Amour
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1739
Creation End Date: 1740
Creation Date: 18th century (1739-40)
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: marble
Dimensions: H. 72 in. (182.9 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 67.197
Credit Line: Purchase, Josephine Bay Paul and C. Michael Paul Foundation Inc. Gift and Charles Ulrick and Josephine Bay Paul Foundation Inc. Gift, 1967

Like most amorous Rococo imagery, this sculpture is erotic yet somehow ambivalent in its meaning. The woman reacts with a startled, self-protective gesture as Cupid suddenly appears, to cast an arrow into her breast. At the same time, her features reveal a hypnotic attraction and her fingers seem to describe playfully the area he wishes to strike.

This vision of young love seems distilled for all time even as it shows the stylistic hallmarks of the age in which it was created. The nymph's delicately off-balance pose-exceedingly fetching when viewed from the corners-is a fine piece of Rococo invention. The carving technique, in which the marble seems touched with flickering light, echoes the painting style of the era. The group was commissioned by the duc d'Antin, surintendant des bâtiments du roi, for Louis XV in 1734 or 1735 and was stored temporarily in the Louvre upon its completion. In 1762 the king gave it to the marquis de Marigny, brother of Madame de Pompadour and minister of the arts, who place it outdoors at his château, Ménars, where it remained until the late nineteenth century.

AMICA ID: MMA_.67.197
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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