Cupid Disguised as a Shepherd Boy
Place of Creation: Rome, Italy
Overall: 132.1 x 40.1 x 49.5 cm (52 x 15 13/16 x 19 1/2 in.)
Medium or Technique
Alan and Simone Hartman Galleries (Gallery 241)
Signed: I.GIBSON FECIT ROMÆ
About 1836/1837, sold by the artist to Thomas Gold Appleton (b. 1812 - d. 1884), Boston [see note 1]; 1884, bequest of Appleton to the MFA [see note 2]. (Accession Date: April 7, 1884)
 This is one of eight repetitions that Gibson made of Cupid Disguised as a Shepherd Boy, a sculpture he exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1837 (no. 1169). In a letter of December 14, 1836 (National Library of Wales, MS4914D-40, kindly provided to the MFA by Eric Forster), Benjamin Gibson indicated that his brother John had made "another repetition [of Cupid Disguised as a Shepherd] in marble for an American gentleman--it is going to Boston, United States." This is, in all likelihood, a reference to the present version, which was owned by Thomas Gold Appleton.
 From the time of purchase until it was bequeathed to the museum, the statue stood in the hall of Mr. Appleton's home on Commonwealth Avenue. See a photocopy of an undated inventory of his works of art in the file for this object. The inventory is courtesy of the Appleton Family Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Bequest of Thomas Gold Appleton