In Search of ROMance: Looking for love in all the right places

Posted: February 13, 2013 - 14:36 , by royal
Collections, Director's Update, World Culture | Comments () | Comment
A colourful earthenware bowl with figures of putti dancing around outter rim.

Valentine’s Day is upon us.  To celebrate the most romantic day of the year, here are a few fun highlights from our collection.

It seems the Museum is practically infested with putti! Unlike their angelic cousins we know as cherubs and seraphs, these chubby, almost devilish imps were devoted to serving Eros (also known as Cupid) and Erato, the Muse of love poetry, often deviously facilitating romantic love between two people.

Starting on our third level in the Samuel European Galleries, you’ll find the playful table centrepiece pictured here. Designed about 1910 by the German Wilhelm Süs, this earthenware, polychrome painted centrepiece hints at the enduring influence of the sculptures of Donatello and the paintings of Raphael—and does so in an almost comic way.

Just nearby in The Art of Collecting: Recent European Acquisitions, check out another table centrepiece adorned with pudgy putti: this one in imposing marble and brass, from the French workshop of Froment-Meurice, also from the early 20th century.

There is also a bevy of playful putti adorning a dramatic black basalt pitcher by Wedgwood, circa 1800-1820. Even more impressive is a statue of the romantic huntress Diana astride a stag, with attentive Cupid wielding a bow and arrow, executed in silver, gold and emeralds, and dating from about 1600-1605.

Delving further back, from Imperial Rome, there’s a spectacular marble sarcophagus relief replete with cherubim dating to the Severan period about 300 CE. Don't miss the magnificent bronze Winged Cupid statuette from the 2nd century.

This is just a start. In your museum meanderings, you (and your true love, perhaps) will find countless more of these symbols of romantic love adorning a whole range of objects.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

In honour of Valentine’s Day, enjoy ROM time with a special someone at a discounted rate: save $3 per person for General Admission, or get $5 off General Admission plus entry to Ultimate Dinosaurs. Also be sure to check out the romantic lunch menu all week at c5, our unique dining destination. And for members, a special weeklong sale in the Museum Shop. To keep the spirit of romance alive all year we offer the ROM Social membership which entitles you to bring a friend along when you visit, including to our Friday Night Live program, a hip happening unique in the city.