In the ancient world there were two different images that could be presented of the god Eros. The first was that of a young man with wings and rings in his hands, illustrated by a statue that was created around 400 BCE by the sculptor Praxiteles (Fig.1). Second is the depiction of a mischievous baby by an unknown sculptor from the first century BCE (Fig.2). This second depiction also had wings but once again the bow was missing. If the god Eros is depicted as a child he is generally with Aphrodite his mother. Of these two depictions the most common in the modern world is the baby depiction. Even though the baby depiction is the most common, in some instances whoever is working with the depiction will choose to use the young man.
Since both depictions are still used in the modern world, there are really only two significant changes since antiquity. First is the idea that Eros is one member of a race of mythical creatures. Second is the misconception that Eros is the god of love when he is really the god of sexual desire. Although Eros is commonly depicted in the modern world he is more often recognized by his Roman name Cupid.
By using the name Cupid it becomes much easier to find depictions of the god Eros. For this assignment I have chosen to use three depictions from the modern world and one from the nineteenth century. Of these depictions, three come from video clips and one is a painting. All of these depictions encompass different aspects of the god. In some of these depictions he is the only cupid and in others he is just one of many. Another aspect these depictions cannot agree on is whether or not he is the young man or the baby. On top of both of these disagreements, one of the clips seems to contend that Eros should not even have wings. While in some of the other depictions a bow was not included. Of these depictions there is one that is not even close to traditional descriptions of the god Eros and one that is fairly close to the traditional descriptions.
Each depiction of Eros has its similarities and differences from what tradition says Eros looked like. But by addressing each depiction in turn I hope to prove that Cupid is most important in the twentieth and twenty first centuries. To begin this discussion I will look at the image titled the Abduction of Psyche. Next will be the depiction of Eros in the television series Charmed. After that will be the depiction of Eros in a clip from the 1940 Fantasia. The final depiction will be from the Disney television series Hercules.
To start, I will talk about the image depicting Psyche and Eros. This image depicts one of the myths associated with Eros. In this myth Eros falls in love with Psyche, a mortal. William-Adolphe Bougereau painted this beautiful piece in 1895 (see fig.3). It depicts the abduction of Psyche by Eros. The image shows Eros with Psyche in his arms on the way to his home where he will live with her. Eros is a winged man who is almost nude and...