Oval gem with the punishment of Cupid by Venus
Length x width: 22 x 18 mm (7/8 x 11/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
Amber-colored glass paste cast. Intaglio. Flat front and back surfaces with slight inward back bezel. Venus sits on the left on a ground line, facing right and leaning against a rocky surface. Her legs, bent knees, and lap are covered by drapery, which she holds up with one hand and whose folds are delicately rendered. She is otherwise unclothed. Her hair falls in short curls to her shoulders. Cupid stands on the right. He holds his bow in one hand and rubs at his eyes with the other. His wings are visible behind his head, which is tilted downwards.
A retrograde Greek inscription runs down the right edge of the gem in very tiny letters reading PIXLER (Pichler). The Pichlers were a family of renowned 18th and 19th century gem-cutters originally from Austria. The patriarch Antonio (Johann Anton) was a merchant who decided to devote himself to art after traveling to Italy, where he relocated to learn gem-engraving. His sons Giovanni, Giuseppe, and Luigi and grandson Giacomo continued his legacy by taking up the craft. Giovanni, the eldest, taught his two younger half-brothers after Antonio’s death. Luigi is generally regarded as the most distinguished artist of the family and received numerous honors from the popes and sovereigns of his day. Giovanni and Luigi were also painters.
By 1962: Dr. L. Lahut Uzman Collection (according to his records: Bought: Jan. 16. 62. "Bedelle" 47 Bromfield St. [Boston]; 1962: inherited by Mrs. L. Lahut Uzman; December 12, 1962: one of the group of 20 gems (62.1145–62.1164) purchased by MFA from Mrs. L. Lahut Uzman for a total price of $ 2,200-
Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Zoë Wilbour