The J. Paul Getty Museum

Venus Chastising Cupid

Object Details


Venus Chastising Cupid






Probably Egypt (Place Created)


100–1 B.C.



Object Number:



28.7 × 12.7 × 8.3 cm (11 5/16 × 5 × 3 1/4 in.)

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Object Description

In this intimate sculptural portrayal of a relationship between two divinities, Aphrodite playfully threatens her mischievous son, Eros. The goddess of love wears a stephane--a crown--over her cascading hair and holds a folded cestus--a girdle--just above her shoulder, ready to slap her son. Eros--his wings fully extended--playfully holds up his hand to protect himself.

This scene represents a divine counterpart to the everyday closeness between a mortal mother and her son. During the Hellenistic era, gods and goddesses were often portrayed in a more personal way. This method of representation was a dramatic departure from the earlier Classical style, when the gods were represented more formally as gods, rather than as lighthearted--and humanlike--creatures.

- 1922

Albert Lehmann, 1840 - 1922 (Paris, France), by inheritance to his heirs.

1922 - 1925

Estate of Albert Lehmann, 1840 - 1922 [sold, Collection Lehmann: Antiquités, Hotel Drouot, Paris, June 11, 1925, lot 120, to M. Feuardent (Feuardent Frères).]


Feuardent Frères (Paris, France)

- 1957

Nicolas Koutoulakis, 1910 - 1996 (Paris, France and Geneva, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1957.

Small Sculptures in Bronze from the Classical World (March 7 to April 18, 1976)
  • Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), March 7 to April 18, 1976
Classical Connections: The Enduring Influence of Greek and Roman Art (December 16, 2003 to November 9, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 16, 2003 to November 9, 2008
Grecian Taste and Roman Spirit: The Society of Dilettanti (August 7 to October 27, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), August 7 to October 27, 2008
Collector's Choice: J. Paul Getty and His Antiquities (November 18, 2009 to February 8, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), November 18, 2009 to February 8, 2010
Aphrodite and the Gods of Love (March 28, 2012 to May 26, 2013)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), March 28 to July 9, 2012

Hôtel Drouot, Paris. Collection Lehmann: Catalogue des Antiquités Égyptiennes, Grecques, Romaines. June 11, 1925, p. 22, lot 120, pl. 14.

Reinach, Salomon. Repertoire de la statuaire grecque et romaine. 6 vols. (Paris: E. Leroux, 1897-1930), vol. 6 (1930), p. 83, no. 2.

Neugebauer, K. A. "Die Venus von Grenoble," Pantheon 9 (1936), p. 50, ill.

Bulletin of the J. Paul Getty Museum of Art (Malibu: 1957), p. 15; pl. 6b.

Getty, J. Paul. The Joys of Collecting (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1965), p. 78, ill.

Stothart, Herbert. A Handbook of the Sculpture in the J. Paul Getty Museum. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1965), p. 14, no. A57.S-4, pl. 4.

Parlasca, Klaus. Mumienportraets und verwandte Denkmaeler. Wiesbaden: 1966, pp. 211-12; pl. 21.

Sams, G. Kenneth, ed. Small Sculptures in Bronze from the Classical World. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, exh. cat., March 7-April 18, 1976, no. 29.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), p. 28.

Stemmer, Klaus, ed. In den Garten der Aphrodite. Exh. cat. Abguss-Sammlung Antiker Plastik, Berlin, Germany, 15 July-11 November, 2001, pp. 129-30, n. 65, fig. 5.

Mattusch, Carol C. Enduring Bronze: Ancient Art, Modern Views (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014), pp. 47-48, fig. 24.

Sofroniew, Alexandra. Household Gods: Private Devotion in Ancient Greece and Rome (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), pp. 72-73, fig. 35.