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|Cupid Untying the Zone of Venus|
The Hermitage copy.
|Year||1784 (copies 1785 and 1788)|
|Medium||oil on canvas|
|Location||Tate Britain (copies in Soane Museum and Hermitage Museum)|
Cupid Untying the Zone of Venus (originally entitled A Nymph and Cupid: ‘The Snake in the Grass’ or The Snake in the Grass, or Love unloosing the zone of Beauty; later also known as Love and Beauty and Cupid Untying the Girdle of Venus) is a painting by Joshua Reynolds. It shows Cupid untying the girdle of his mother Venus - the latter was modelled on Emma Hart.
The earliest version was that exhibited in 1784 and bought by the Tate Gallery in 1871 A 1785 autograph copy made for Reynolds' niece the Marchioness of Thomond was bought at the sale of her collection in May 1821 by Sir John Soane - it is thus now in the Soane Museum. In 1788 Lord Carysfort commissioned an autograph copy to present to Prince Grigory Potemkin, which is now in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.