Cupid the LegendThe classical mythology says that Cupid is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of the love goddess Venus, and is known in Latin also as Amor ("Love"). His Greek name is Eros.
In Roman mythology, Cupid's mother Venus was jealous of the beauty of Psyche, and ordered Cupid to punish the mortal. Instead, Cupid fell deeply in love with her. He took her as his wife, but as a mortal she was forbidden to look at him.
Psyche was happy until her sisters persuaded her to look at Cupid. As soon as Psyche looked at Cupid, Cupid punished her by leaving. Their lovely castle and gardens vanished too. Psyche found herself alone in an open field with no signs of other beings or Cupid.
As she wandered trying to find her love, she came upon the temple of Venus. Wishing to destroy her, the goddess of love gave Psyche a series of tasks, each harder and more dangerous then the last.
For her last task Psyche was given a little box and told to take it to the underworld. She was told to get some of the beauty of Proserpine, the wife of Pluto, and put it in the box. During her trip she was given tips on avoiding the dangers of the realm of the dead and was warned not to open the box. But Temptation overcame Psyche and she opened the box. Instead of finding beauty, she found deadly slumber.
Cupid found her lifeless on the ground. He gathered the deadly sleep from her body and put it back in the box. The gods, moved by Psyche's love for Cupid made her a goddess.
In the Greek tradition, Eros had a dual, contradictory geneaology. He was among the primordial gods who came into existence asexually; after his generation, deities were begotten through male-female unions. In Hesiod's Theogony, only Chaos and Gaia (Earth) are older. Before the existence of gender dichotomy, Eros functioned by causing entities to separate from themselves that which they already contained.
Why Cupid appears blindfolded and winged?
Cupid is winged because lovers are flighty and likely to change their minds, and boyish because love is foolish and irrational. His symbols are the arrow and torch, "because love wounds and inflames the heart." These attributes and their interpretation were established by late antiquity, as summarized by Isidore of Seville in his Etymologies. Cupid is also often depicted blindfolded and described as blind, not so much in the sense of sightless—since the sight of the beloved can be a spur to love—as blinkered and arbitrary.
As described by Shakespeare in ”A Midsummer Night's Dream ”
" Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath love's mind of any judgement taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
And therefore is love said to be a child
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled."
In Botticelli's ”Allegory of Spring” (1482), also known by its Italian title ”La Primavera” , Cupid is shown blindfolded while shooting his arrow, positioned above the central figure of Venus.
Particularly in ancient Roman art, cupids may also carry or be surrounded by fruits, animals, or attributes of the Seasons or the wine-god Dionysus, symbolizing the earth's generative capacity.