Cupid is a symbol of love and affection, often depicted as a winged, chubby baby with a bow and arrow. This iconic figure has been the representation of love and passion for centuries, but have you ever wondered where he came from? The origins of Cupid can be traced back to ancient Greek and Roman mythology. However, his story has evolved and taken on various interpretations throughout history. 

In Greek mythology, Cupid was known as Eros, the god of love and desire. He was often portrayed as mischievous and playful, using his arrows to cause love and desire between mortals and gods. According to the legend, Eros was the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty, and pleasure. There are different accounts of his birth, but the most popular one tells of how he was born from the union of Aphrodite and Ares, the god of war.  

Other versions claim that Eros was conceived by the primordial deities Chaos and Nyx or by Aphrodite alone. In Roman mythology, Cupid was known as Amor, which means love in Latin. He was also depicted as a mischievous god who would use his arrows to create love and desire. However, in Roman mythology, his mother was Venus, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility.  

Unlike the Greek version, Roman mythology does not mention a father for Cupid. The image of Cupid as a young, winged boy with a bow and arrow was popularized during the Renaissance period. Artists used this symbol in their paintings to represent the power of love and passion.  

The renowned Italian artist, Raphael, painted the famous “The Triumph of Galatea,” where Cupid is shown holding a bow and arrow, ready to strike. In recent years, Cupid has become a popular figure in commercial and popular culture. He is often portrayed as a cute, cuddly, and innocent baby, which has become the modern definition of Cupid. This image was popularized by the iconic Valentine’s Day cards, with Cupid depicted as a cherubic figure. 

Today, Cupid is seen as a universal symbol of love and has become a part of our cultural consciousness. His image is used in various ways, from Valentine’s Day decorations to merchandise, and even as a mascot for dating apps. However, not everyone is a fan of Cupid. Some criticize the representation of love as being too childish and unrealistic.  

Some argue that the idea of a chubby baby playing with arrows to manipulate people’s emotions is not only unrealistic but also potentially harmful. Despite the criticism, Cupid remains a significant figure in mythology and popular culture. He reminds us of the power of love and the journey of finding our perfect match. So, whether you believe in his mythological origins or not, the image of Cupid will continue to represent love and passion for generations to come.