In classical mythology, Cupid (Latin Cupido, meaning “desire”) is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of the love goddess Venus and the war god Mars, and is known in Latin also as Amor (“Love”). His Greek counterpart is Eros.
Although Eros is in Classical Greek art as a slender winged youth, during the Hellenistic period, he was increasingly portrayed as a chubby boy. During this time, his iconography acquired the bow and arrow that represent his source of power: a person, or even a deity, who is shot by Cupid’s arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire. In myths, Cupid is a minor character who serves mostly to set the plot in motion. He is a main character only in the tale of Cupid and Psyche, when wounded by his own weapons he experiences the ordeal of love. Although other extended stories are not told about him, his tradition is rich in poetic themes and visual scenarios, such as “Love conquers all” and the retaliatory punishment or torture of Cupid.