A statue of Eros is being displayed at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, within the framework of the exhibit Changing Image of Eros, Ancient Greek God of Love, from Antiquity to Renaissance. The statue of Sleeping Eros demonstrates that love as we know it doesn’t just last forever — it’s been around forever too.
Eros is the Greek God of love and sexual desire. In particular erotic, romantic, love. His “weapon” is darts or arrows.
The statue of Eros was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum back in 1943. The centerpiece of the exhibit, which opened last week and runs through June 23, is a remarkable, life size bronze sculpture of Eros shown as a sleeping baby.
His chubby legs are draped over a stone. One of his wings lies flat, the details of every feather visible, and the other is tucked up underneath. Unusually for Greek art, the god’s eyes are shut. And in a touching nuance, the baby’s mouth rests open, while his left hand lies limp, having dropped his famous bow.
“He’s in the midst of his labors and he’s taking a nap,” curator Sean Hemingway told Agence-France-Presse. Less well known is that the Greek Eros had two firing arrows of love. As Hemingway highlighted, “The golden ones gave burning desire and the lead ones repelled people from burning desire.”
The image of Eros captured in the statue, is dated to the 3rd-2nd Centuries B.C. and comes from the island of Rhodes which “means ‘rose’ in Greek”, as pointed out by Hemingway, an archaeologist and the grandson of the novelist Ernest Hemingway. He said, “For the Greeks, it was an important god and we continue to think of love, if not as a god, as important. Valentine’s Day is coming up, so it’s a good time to remember him,” Art Daily reported.
Hemingway called the work a “great masterpiece” that has always “fascinated” him. It certainly fascinated the Romans, who made copies in large quantities, followed by the Renaissance artists whose rediscovery of Classical art inspired Europe’s cultural explosion after the Middle Ages.