Marble Monday *13


Cupid Playing with a Butterfly
by Antoine-Denis Chaudet (1763 – 1810)

Chaudet went to the seine river in Paris to look for a model for this masterpiece. Approaching the young nude Parisian boys swimming. There was a misunderstanding about what he wanted from a nude young boy. This landed him in jail.


Cupid is portrayed as a naked, unarmed adolescent whose sole attributes are his short wings. He seems to be engrossed in an innocent pastime. His amusement is not as harmless as it seems, though; the butterfly allowing itself to be seduced by his rose symbolizes the soul, Psyche in Greek. Imprisoned by Cupid, the soul soon experiences love’s torments rather than its pleasures. The graceful bas-relief friezes on the base develop the theme: if the butterfly tastes the juice of a basket of flowers, it is pinned down by chubby little cupids, one of whom enslaves it by harnessing it to his chariot. But the soul finally triumphs thanks to the bees: infuriated by the arrows shot at their hive, they swarm all over the cheeky imps. These scenes are inspired by the Idylls of Theocritus (3rd century BC), the most famous Greek poet of the Alexandrian era, and the delicateness of the carving expresses all their bucolic charm.


57 thoughts on “Marble Monday *13”

    1. There was a misunderstanding about what he wanted from a nude young boy. This landed him in jail.
      Yeah, of course it was purely for art…them bastards!

      “Nice ass at least.”
      No way could that be what he was looking for!

  1. Haha, the incident on the Seine is sweet. Any man wishing to capture a boy's image must be suspect – they are beautiful, they are beautiful because they are sexy. Anybody looking must be looking at his cock, right?

    Nowadays, of course, to take a boy home we don't need to ask him to spend hours naked, alone with us in a studio as Rudé did: the modern miracle of photography means we can snap him up in an instant. Maybe that's one reason why they don't bathe naked in the Seine any more. I still find it fascinating, though, that this exquisite piece of porn should have been praised as high art, and still is, in hypocritical times in which boys are banned from bathing naked in case the 'wrong kind of person' looks at them. Posh people, connoisseurs of fine art are, of course, immune from sexual perversion, so it's OK for them to see as much cock as they want; I guess, through the even-more-modern miracle of performance and installation art, they'll be able to have a good suck too.

    1. Maybe the Seine is too dirty these days, or just like most French I’ve met think they are better than us

  2. I'm not entirely sure how you were able to misconstrued this as porn, BoyMagnet.

    art, noun: the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

    porn, noun: creative activity (writing or pictures or films etc.) of no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire.

  3. Boymagnet, I highly doubt that your username is in anyway accurate. You are probably a grossly overweight, older man who has a compulsive masturbatory problem. There is nothing wrong with your attraction to the beauty of naked youth but is it necessary to focus on the sexual aspect instead of just appreciating the beauty? Your over-sexualized sentiment is strikingly similar to the mirror opposite hetero mentality of “fuck it or kill it” that so many straight men enjoy. Please grow up. No one is a bad person for finding youth stimulating or even sexually arousing, but they are certainly immature if not sick, if they use this to ignore the obvious fact that the manipulation and objectification of children is wrong. Please leave your filthy mind to yourself, your jackoff comments are better suited for a chan board.

    1. jsween I agree kids are quite delightful to observe for their natural innocent play, let them enjoy childhood while they can, reality can wait a while till they are old enough to decide for themselves, dont tamper or objectify innoncent nature. As art these pieces are quite pleasing to me and I didn’t even notice the cock, till the magnet spoke. I love artist skills, as I lack them, no way could I carv a stine so nicely. But about the only fault I can find is the confusion it might cause some day, when, not if, but when the World is again obliterated by natural happening, the Mayans expect 2012 polarity shift, and 13,000 years loater the new world archiologists may uncover it to reveal that past man was smaller and had wings?

    2. I love all the holier than thou comments. Perish the thought that there might be a hint of prurient interest in a young man! When this site is overloaded with ads for hardcore porn with “twinks” and “teens”. Half the blogs are hardcore too.

      And why the ad hominem attack? Are we back in middle-school?

  4. Thanks! I learn something almost every time I visit your blogsite. This is one of your best attributes: Intelligent Commentary.

  5. I really enjoyed reading the commentary, I think Cupid’s torments are something we can all relate to :-)

  6. I believe the statue appears to be a pre-adolescent cupid. Still a very nice work of art but it seems younger.

    1. I think you are slitting hairs. Preadolescence and adolescence are not defined by puberty as it is a varying age. It is a psychological transition as well as a physical one.

  7. Has anyone checked out the fountain and statuary outside the state capitol in staid, conservative Des Moines, IA?

      1. Hey George!
        That comment be four years old so he probably won’t answer! JFWY
        All I can drag up at is a news story about a bee drinking from the fountain during summer and all that’s shown is a boy’s head as the story’s all about the bees sipping water and not about the most probably naked boy mentioned by WMG!
        Maybe later I’ll try again.

  8. @jsween Gosh, I seem to have offended you with my use of forbidden words, I’m sorry. I was trying to reflect ironically on the difficulties of taking innocent beauty as such – when even this statue’s creator managed to get arrested for trying to make it.

    I fear that my feeble words, like Rudé’s efforts in stone, will always be misunderstood by somebody. Do you work for the Sureté, perhaps?

  9. Boymagnet, thanks for explaining your intent. So put it’s fine. However, you didn’t succeed in presenting your point. I, too, found it unnecessarily crude, and thought it was intended to be taken as seriously and obscenely as Jsween did. I’m glad to have been wrong in so interpreting it, but it is, even on rereading, a little hard to read it as you intended it.

    Anyway that staue is a work of rare beauty.

  10. I’m sorry, English isn’t my native language, so sometimes I get the words muddled up. Anyway, I think we’re all agreed that the naked Cupid symbolizes the very best kind of innocence :-)

  11. David, Cupid looks younger because the age of onset of puberty has changed due to improvements in nutrition. Puberty, the physical side of adolesence, today is at the very beginning of adolesence and may occur as young as 11 or 12 in a boy. In the late 18th century, however, puberty may not have occurred until a boy was well into adolesence, perhaps when he was 15 or 16. So there is nothing strange in the context of the time about a pre-pubesecent adolescent Cupid.

    1. That combined with the lack of pubic hair and the beautiful roundness of his body made him seem pre-adolescent to me as well, until I looked again and realized the proportions are those of a later teen or possibly even an adult.

  12. Boy Magnet: I would not agree that Cupid represents innocence. Cupid, or Eros in Greek, was not innocent at all; he was a devious trickster.

    Jean-Francois: I think your attempt to distinguish “art” from “porn” is far too simplistic. Neither art nor porn has any rigid definition, and the defintion you give to porn as something that is “of no literary or artistic value” is innacurate. That is the definition of “obscenity,” not “pornography,” which has never been defined legally (at least in the US). More importantly, works of art often resist simple categorization. Your definitions suggest that art and porn are mutually exclusive categories, when such is not the case. Art can be pornographic (or erotic, if you will), and pornography (or erotica) can be artistic.

    1. I think Rick is probably right innocence is not the intent here and the trick is in the butterfly winged beauty spreading polin to create new plant life, whilst spreading its own seed in little worms that will demolish the old plant to create new life in animal life (butterflies) who will inturn spread the polin to fertilise Vegetation to again feed and ultimately ppreserve animal life and moor love and natural creations of more of each in time.

      As for depicting porn or obsenity no way, man and insect, vegetation and minerals were all created naked and unclothed, with or without wings, it wasn’t cupit who seeded the World, but God (whichever one we follow) and only after original sin did man see shame rather than beauty in nakedness, cupid like the butterfly spreading seed, love and beautiful innocence yes!

    1. Who said what that you liked what they said? When replying to a poster, hover the icon over the gray bar and click on reply. It will then be attached to the post to which you wanted to respond.

    1. Besides the obvious advantages to working with it?
      That’d be it’s surface translucency that is comparable to that of human skin, it’s what gives marble its visual depth and realism especially for human figures such as the lovely Cupid here.

      1. It is also a softer stone than say granite making it easier to work with. It was regionally available and could be found in large enough pieces. It looks great.

      2. Of course, the comment about the “translucency” emulating skin ignores the fact that when true Roman and Greek sculptures were made, they were often painted.

        1. Well that sucks, kind of wastes the beauty of the marble huh? Thank goodness they stopped that practice eventually; can you imagine David say in pink?

          1. @ Audaciter
            Painting beautiful marble, why oh why?

            Curious about what you said I hit the bricks and found this:

            There is even an exhibit of such as they may have appeared back then but I found them,(the statues) to be garish and cheap looking while much preferring the ‘nude’ marble sans the paint that we’re accustomed to seeing today.
            Didn’t question what you said as I’m always open to learning something new but they can keep it in my eyes, at least those versions! After scanning a few more articles there’s debate as to whether the statues would have been so dramatic in tone but none to the fact that indeed they were painted. Of course we’ve all seen gold accents on statues,(be they marble or bronze) such as bracelets, necklaces, belts, and even a rare green head dress or two but I just never pictured the majority of it painted though most appear to leave the skin on legs, arms, and face untouched save for some that detail the face. (Not saying that they didn’t paint the unvarnished skin portions of the marble too)

            You brought up a very good point and I almost regret making light with my David comment but as many comments were already following a jocular tone I stayed with that. Some might say you’ve brought intelligence to the conversation so thanks indeed for the learning experience especially considering it’s about something I was already fond of.

  13. Not that I mind but why was a post from 2009 placed here with its original comments intact vs. just reissuing it for fresh comments here in 2014.
    Could it be to compare changing mores at this later date and to get current impressions of our naked Cupid now being viewed in this current prudish climate?

    Hell no, appears as if we’re just funning it up with this cutie from the past ;) and mostly ignoring the rest!

    1. It’s not uncommon for Josh to re-post old posts here, so it’s not exactly a new concept. I’m always amused at those replying to four and five year old comments though. :D

      1. @ Daveboy
        Yeah but usually they’re shown as fresh posts and he doesn’t include the old comments for us to see even if most times one of us will catch it like you and I did…
        Still think it’s nice regardless the way he did it this time and for exactly the reason you said! We can place answers to comments from way back and know that even if they won’t be answered by the original poster they still can cause chatter.

        Even the old can be new at mb’s that’s why I love it ;)

          1. @ Mr.Riding my hairy fat ass Joshsc!
            Well, I was shooting fer ten on this posting so that leaves me room for one more @ someone who matters!
            Feel free though to drive on by rather than waste your precious mb’s time policing for over users of post space.
            Do have a loverly day and a superb new year Buttercup!

            1. My. You have never called me buttercup before.

              Despite this term of endearment, the thought of riding your hairy fat ass is not very appealing.

              Perhaps Mr. Horselips would give you a whirl, but not me.

            2. “Despite this term of endearment, the thought of riding your hairy fat ass is not very appealing. Perhaps Mr. Horselips would give you a whirl, but not me.”


            3. @ pb & joshsc
              Once again you callous lovebirds have packed together…Think we’ve got the perfect couple here!
              Do so love you both ;) please don’t change one thing regarding your charming ways; as if either of you ever would or could.

            4. Although Penboy and I are not yet boyfriends, we both apparently delight in tormenting you Devil Lips, and the reason is because it’s so easy to do.

            5. “… we both apparently delight in tormenting you Devil Lips, and the reason is because it’s so easy to do.”

              Why is it so easy to feed the pigeons? Because they constantly look around for scraps of discardings?

            6. @ Penboy
              And you Sir be the biggest baddest pigeon on the block!

            7. “And you Sir be the biggest baddest pigeon on the block!”

              NFW — I’m the metro-king Red-Tailed Hawk that delights in capturing those dumb pigeons — I’ve been seen roosting on a famous building in NYC — just up from Central Park (They even made a documentary about me!)

  14. This is totally off-topic, but I was just watching a bit of porn on 101 Boy Videos and was wondering why the Japanese gay boys have such a hard time having anal sex?

    Japanese twinks are super cute, but they have to work awfully hard to keep it ‘in there’ doing the anal thing.

    Just sayin’

  15. In the late ’80s, I visited Spain, and observed a group of boys–well into their teens–swimming in the Guadalquivir in Seville, wearing only tighty-whities. Nothing too surprising about that, I guess. But I was surprised–and pleased–when, before leaving for the afternoon, they all stripped off their tw’s, and stood naked on a rock to wring them out. I hope the boys of Seville have continued that tradition!

  16. I need to tell you all this stupid straight people have been going around all over the world and they have been brakeing off the penises off of the staues

    1. @ James
      Them bastards,and what of the balls?
      Seriously though that’s just straight up vandalism without purpose unless it’s a case of penis envy then the question becomes too big too small or none at all?

      Please forgive James do see your point but watched a stack of South Park’s today and just feeling a touch irreverent!

    2. I know it’s wrong, but I can assure you that you haven’t experienced good anal until you have had the long and cold marble cock of Hercules up your ass.

      Stick with Vaseline though because KY can chemically interact with the marble and you’ll end up with a calcium-carbonate plaster-of-Paris-like coating inside your anal cavity, and I’m told that it’s very embarrassing to try and explain how that happened to the ER medical staff.

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