This marble sculpture was carved and dated by Étienne-Maurice Falconet in 1757. The sculpture depicts Cupid, sitting on a cloud with his wings spread and placed on a round plinth. He keeps his right index ginder to his mouth with a sly smile on his face whilst with his left hand he holds onto an arrow in a quiver beside him.
Already in the 18th century this famous sculpture was known by various nicknames, the best known of which was l’amour menaçant, ‘menacing love’. The threat is most evident in the Cupid’s knowing gaze, while the gesture he makes invokes us to secrecy. The statue was made for Madame de Pompadour, King Louis XV’s art-loving mistress.
Written on the base of the sculpture are words by Falconet "Qui que tu sois, voicy ton maiture./ Il l'est, le fut, ou le doit etre" (eng. Whoever you are, here is your master./ He is it, the had been, or the should be), quoted from Voltaire's 'Mixed Poems, Poesies Melées" read here.
This object is part of "Scan The World". Scan the World is a non-profit initiative introduced by MyMiniFactory, through which we are creating a digital archive of fully 3D printable sculptures, artworks and landmarks from across the globe for the public to access for free. Scan the World is an open source, community effort, if you have interesting items around you and would like to contribute, email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can help.