French Sculpture Census

crédits photo :, August 15, 2011
© artiste : public domain

LEMOYNE, Jean-Louis
Paris 1665 - Paris 1755

La Crainte des Traits de l'Amour
The Fear of Cupid's Darts


182,2 x 66,7 x 93,7

N° d'inv. : 67.197
Credit Line : Purchase, Josephine Bay Paul and C. Michael Paul Foundation Inc. and Charles Ulrick and Josephine Bay Foundation Inc. Gifts, 1967

New York, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


  • jusque 1762, Louis XV
  • 1762-1781, Ménars, France, Abel-François Poisson, Marquis de Marigny
  • 1781-1881, héritiers du marquis de Marigny
  • à partir de 1881, Paris, rue Saint-Florentin, Baron Alphonse de Rothschild
  • par succession, Baronne Alphonse de Rothschild
  • 1929, Baron Edouard de Rothschild
  • jusque 1967, New York, Wildenstein and Co., Inc.
  • vendu au MMA
  • 1967, achat, don de la Josephine Bay Paul et C. Michael Paul Foundation Inc. et don de la Charles Ulrick et Josephine Bay Foundation Inc.


  • Museum's website


Museum's website, August 29, 2012:
Like most amorous Rococo imagery, this sculpture is erotic yet somehow ambivalent in its meaning. The woman reacts with a startled, self-protective gesture as Cupid suddenly appears, to cast an arrow into her breast. At the same time, her features reveal a hypnotic attraction and her fingers seem to describe playfully the area he wishes to strike.
This vision of young love seems distilled for all time even as it shows the stylistic hallmarks of the age in which it was created. The nymph's delicately off-balance pose—exceedingly fetching when viewed from the corners—is a fine piece of Rococo invention. The carving technique, in which the marble seems touched with flickering light, echoes the painting style of the era.
The group was commissioned by the duc d'Antin, surintendant des bâtiments du roi, for Louis XV in 1734 or 1735 and was stored temporarily in the Louvre upon its completion. In 1762 the king gave it to the marquis de Marigny, brother of Madame de Pompadour and minister of the arts, who placed it outdoors at his château, Ménars, where it remained until the late nineteenth century.