The J. Paul Getty Museum

Cupid and Pan

Object Details

Title:

Cupid and Pan

Artist/Maker:

Attributed to Federico Zuccaro (Italian, about 1541 - 1609)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1600

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Object Number:

72.PA.6

Dimensions:

76.5 × 104.1 cm (30 1/8 × 41 in.)

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Object Description

Cupid, the god of love, climbs onto the back of Pan, the god of the wild, who is on all fours. Cupid subdues Pan by grabbing one of his ears, as surrounding onlookers react in apparent shock, gesturing vigorously with aghast expressions. A winged allegorical figure soars above, catching the attention of several figures below. Pan personifies carnal lust, so the struggle between the two gods represents the combat of divine and earthly love. The subject comes from a popular verse from the Roman poet Virgil (70 – 19 BCE): Omnia vincit amor (“Love conquers all”). The scene is set in Arcadia, a romantic paradise inhabited by nymphs and shepherds. The towering trees and expansive depth of the vista reveal Zuccaro’s interest in landscape painting.

The early provenance of this painting is unknown, and it was previously attributed to one of Zuccaro’s contemporaries, Giuseppe Cesari, more commonly known as Cavaliere d’Arpino (1568 – 1640). It was recognized in 1981 that this composition is in part derived from the central vault of the Sala d'Ercole (Room of Hercules) in the Villa Farnese at Caprarola, which was painted by Federico Zuccaro, leading to this tentative attribution. Authorship might potentially be ascribed to one of Zuccaro’s collaborators on this fresco, or to an artist who had access to the frescoes or their preparatory drawings.

Provenance
Provenance
about 1900 -

Private Collection (Rome, Italy)
Source: Label on the reverse from a Roman frame maker named Luigi Della Marra, apparently around the turn of the century.

- 1972

Baron Paul Hatvany, 1899 - 1977 (London, England) [sold, Hatvany sale, Christie's, London, March 24, 1972, lot 52, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Baroque Masters from the J. Paul Getty Museum (February 26 to March 30, 1973)
  • California State University (Northridge), February 26 to March 30, 1973
Bibliography
Bibliography

Christie, Manson & Woods, London. Catalogue of a large assemblage of gallery & cabinet pictures by ancient and modern masters [...]. December 21, 1861, p. 6, lot 80.

Christie's advertisement. Apollo (March 1972), p. 15, ill.

Christie, Manson & Woods, London. Fine Pictures by Old Masters. March 24, 1972, p. 23, lot 52, ill.

Baroque Masters from the J. Paul Getty Museum, exh. cat. (Northridge: California State University, 1973), pp. 7-8, no. 11, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton. Summary of Zuccaro Attribution, unpublished manuscript (1981).

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 139, ill.

Pierguidi, Stefano. "Sull' 'Amor Omnia Vincit' del J. P. Getty Museum e la fortuna delle allegorie d'armore a Roma intorno al 1600." Bollettino d'Arte del Ministero per i Beni e le Attivita Culturali, no. 137-138 (July-December 2006), pp. 63-76.