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Cupid Rekindling Hymen’s Torch
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
This statue is featured in my adult story “Still On Display”.
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Scottish sculptor George Rennie later abandoned art for politics, becoming Liberal MP for Ipswich and later Governor of the Falkland Islands. But it is of course his sculpture that we have come to look at today.
“Cupid Rekindling Hymen’s Torch” is pretty much what it says on the (metaphorical) tin: the statue depicts Cupid blowing on the torch of Hymenaeos, God of Marriage, in order to rekindle its flame. Or to put it another way, it’s a couple of guys getting very close and personal while naked. What could be more innocently charming than that?!
Cupid and Hymen were originally on display in the old V&A Sculpture Court, where the lighting made them look a very drab grey in front of the drab grey walls. Apart from that, they were standing against a wall, which was a bit frustrating because it limited the number of angles they could be seen from.
Not to put too fine a point on it, I couldn’t get any back views.
Well, the Sculpture Court was closed for renovation (it later reopened as part of the Medieval and Renaissance Gallery), and for a couple of years Cupid and Hymen were taken off display. The good news is that in late 2007/early 2008 they were put back on display in the Sculpture Gallery next to the inner courtyard, where the lighting and decor is much better. The even better news is that you can now walk around them and take pictures from almost every angle - backs, fronts, sides, whatever. So that’s just what I did (with a much better camera, I might add) and here they are for viewing and downloading. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
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