The cameo of Venus and Cupid is a glyptic masterpiece from the Italian Renaissance. Engraved on an agate from the Grisons, it is attributed to Giovanni Ambrogio Miseroni (1551–1616), one of the most brilliant hardstone carvers of his time.
The cameo once covered a cup described for the first time in the collection of Cardinal Mazarin in 1661. The cup was acquired by Louis XIV and remained in the royal collections until the French Revolution. In 1796, under the Directoire, it was given as payment to a merchant, like many artworks from the national collections. The cup reappeared alone in 1968 and was acquired by the Louvre. Fifty years later, the cameo was identified in its turn.
The acquisition of this cameo by the Musée du Louvre is an exceptional opportunity to reunite the two parts of Louis XIV’s cup and, in doing so, reassemble a truly unique artwork, one of the most original creations by the Italian gem cutters of the 16th century.
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To welcome the Cameo of Venus and Cupid into the museum collections in spring 2022, the Louvre is counting on the generosity of all to raise one million euros before 25 February 2022. Every donation, no matter the amount, counts.