The Lyricism of Love

In ancient Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of Lyric or Love Poetry, her name often proposed as deriving from Eros, the God of Sexual Attraction. Here they both are on a wall panel in the ground floor Apollo Room of 85 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin which was decorated by the Ticinese sibling stuccodores Paolo and Filippo Lafranchini in the late 1730s/early 1740s. Like her eight sisters within the same space, the inspiration for Erato’s appearance came from an engraving by Domenico de’ Rossi published in Paolo Alessandro Maffei’s Raccolta di statue antiche e moderne (Rome, 1704). These in turn represented statues formerly in the collection of Queen Christina of Sweden. The Lafranchinis’ version follows de’ Rossi quite closely, although Eros looks to have what might be described as an old head on young shoulders: perhaps that is the consequence of his knowing too much about love.
The Irish Aesthete wishes all friends and followers a Happy St Valentine’s Day.

9 comments on “The Lyricism of Love

  1. Vincent Coleman says:

    And the same to you Robert…yes he looks like a balding 50 something…a bit like myself…oh too much about love

  2. Elma Cusack says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you too Robert!

  3. Susan Burke says:

    Stuccodores indeed! Happy Valentines to you Velcrox!! Hugs, Velcro

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Eros’ expression seems rather more Ash Wednesday than St Valentine’s Day. Thank you for the image.

  5. Hibernophile says:

    I had predicted in the household that the Irish Aesthete’s post today would be on Whitefriar street church, thus referencing St Valentine & Ash Wednesday. I will refrain from predictions henceforward!

  6. Admirable restraint…

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