Did Venus’s Jealousy Affect the Life of her Son, Cupid?
Known as the Roman goddess of love, Venus was a curator of all things beautiful and pleasurable. You may also be familiar with her Grecian name, Aphrodite. In the Roman tradition, she was named Venus after the brightest object in the sky, the Sun. Imagine possessing such beauty! She could often be viewed as a character who was a bit unconventional or as goddess who was kind and generous. There are many stories depicting Venus as a main character starring in her own love affair or intervening in the lives of others. She was often jealous of other goddesses or mortals who drew the attention and reverence of others. Often this jealously would cause her to strike out, her ire wreaking havoc and causing great distress to others. This would even include those she loved.
Naturally, any piece of artwork with her visage is sure to turn heads and accentuate a woman’s own inner Venus. The statue above is representative of how Venus’s outward beauty is portrayed. She was a classic beauty with soft features and long flowing hair that was often plaited in elaborate styles. The question that always arises is what kind of inner beauty did she possess, and was it equal to or greater than her physical beauty. Which is the most important to you? I would posit that our acts and deeds and the kindness that we show others is much more important than a pretty face. The gold cameos in the Tagliamonte earrings shown below depict her as a mother with her son, Cupid. Created from an ancient Roman mold, she is shown admonishing her son. Cupid is rubbing his eyes as though she has brought him to tears. Oh, the complicated relationship of a mother and child!Cupid is the son of both Venus (goddess of love) and Mars (god of war), He is the god of desire and love and is also referred to as Eros and Amor. You will often find him sporting his classic bow and arrow. Fiery passion can be expected when this feisty deity accompanies you on your own journeys. Cupid was not always the angel we have come to think of him as. He could be very mischievous and at times would cast his arrows onto two very mis-matched people just to see what would happen for a laugh. We must make our desires known in order to chance a collision with his arrow.
Venus, may rival any stereotypical modern-day mother-in-law as one of the worst in history. In a myth involving her son, Venus’s jealousy gets the better of her. There was once a young woman named Psyche who was originally a mortal being. In Latin, she is also known as Anima, which means the spirit or soul within us. Seen as a rival to Venus in beauty, Venus sends Cupid to trick Psyche into falling in love with a wretched beast as punishment for being so beautiful. As if he cast his own arrow upon himself, Cupid falls in love with her. After a secret marriage, and because of his mother’s jealousy, Cupid is only able to invisibly visit his wife at night. His one condition to Psyche is that she does not try to look upon his face. However, her own curiosity gets the better of her and, as a result of her disobedience, she loses Cupid. In order to regain her lost love, Psyche goes through a series of barbarous tasks set by Venus. Cupid witnesses Psyche’s torment and, unable to witness his wife’s suffering any longer, he pleads with the gods. They allow Psyche to ascend to Olympus as a goddess of the soul. Representative of hard-fought love, artwork engrained with their story is sure to win hearts. The rich pink cameos in the Tagliamonte earrings below represent Psyche and Cupid and the love they would not let perish. What a winning love story…
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