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Venus and Cupid: C.57-1950

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Venus and Cupid


Factory: Höchst Porcelain Manufactory
Modeller: Melchior, Johann Peter




Hard-paste porcelain, painted in enamels, and gilded

Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, and painted overglaze in blue, greyish-green, green, yellow, pink, dark pink, pale purple, a little red, several shades of brown, and grey enamels, and gilded. The open underside of the base is glazed and has a round ventilation hole under Venus, a smaller one under Cupid and an opening through to the top of the tree trunk. The oblong base has an irregularly shaped rocky edge, painted round the edges in green and grey-green to resemble grass; a few roots project at the viewer's right end. It rises up into a low rock, with a projecting tree stump and roots at the viewer's left at the back. Venus sits on the rock with her left leg bent and right straight. She extends her right arm behind Cupid and looks down towards him. Her right elbow is bent and she holds her hand over a flower resting on the drape which passes around her thighs and falls down the back of the rock . She has delicately tinted cheeks, brown eyes, a pale red mouth, and brown hair dressed in a high knot, and wears a narrow frontlet decorated with a bunch of flowers. Her white drape is striped in blue with a purple geometrical pattern between the stripes. Cupid sits on a rock to her right (viewer's left) holding up his arms towards her. He is nude and has a quiver suspended on a purple ribbon. His golden bow rests on the ground below Venus' right leg. The base between Cupid and Venus is strewn with orange and dark pink applied flowers.


History note: Uncertain before donor, Mrs W.D. (Frances Louis) Dickson

Legal notes

Given by Mrs W.D. Dickson

Measurements and weight

Height: 20 cm
Height: 7⅞ in
Length: 23.5 cm
Length: 9¼ in

Place(s) associated

  • Höchst-am-Main ⪼ Germany

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1950) by Dickson, W. D. (Frances Louisa), Mrs


18th Century, third quarter
Circa 1765 CE - 1770 CE


Johann Peter Melchior worked at Höchst as a modeller between 1767 and 1779 when he moved to Frankenthal

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels
Deocration composed of gold

Materials used in production

Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, assembled, glazed, painted in blue, greyish-green, green, yellow, pink, dark pink, pale purple, a little red, several shades of brown, and grey enamels, and lightly gilt.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: S over SB or S crossed circle
  • Location: On underside of base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Incised mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.57-1950
Primary reference Number: 140326
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Venus and Cupid" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-16 18:56:56

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{{cite web|url= |title=Venus and Cupid |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-16 18:56:56|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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