|Figurine of a little Eros riding on a dolphin, holding a lyre with remains of polychromy
|4th – 3rd Century B.C
|145 mm x 140 mm x 65 mm
|Ex American private collection, acquired before 2000s
The depiction of Eros riding on a dolphin while holding a lyre is a classical motif from ancient Greek art that symbolizes the association of love, music, and the sea. Eros, the Greek god of love and desire, is often portrayed in various forms, and the image of him riding a dolphin is a representation of his playful and mischievous nature. The dolphin, a creature associated with the sea, was considered sacred to the goddess Aphrodite, who is closely linked to Eros in Greek mythology. This imagery not only emphasizes Eros’s connection to the watery realms but also underscores the harmonious and poetic aspects of love.
The inclusion of the lyre in Eros’s hands adds another layer of meaning to the composition. The lyre, a stringed musical instrument, was associated with Apollo, the god of music and arts. The combination of Eros with the lyre suggests a fusion of love and artistic expression, highlighting the transformative and inspiring power of love in the realm of creativity. This motif can be found in various forms of Greek art, including sculptures, pottery, and frescoes, reflecting the cultural significance of these themes in the classical period and their enduring influence on Western artistic traditions.