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Auction of the Cupids

A work made of etching on ivory wove paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching on ivory wove paper.




Johann Heinrich Ramberg
German, 1763–1840

About this artwork

For the Auction of the Cupids, Johann Heinrich Ramberg combined his classicizing aspirations with frothy, titillating humor. The scene depicts winged putti being sold to the highest bidder in a verdant landscape. These charmed infants seem to gravitate naturally into the hands and under the skirts of the young and buxom; they are more reluctant to stay confined in the baskets of the elderly hags hoping for one more chance at love.


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Prints and Drawings


Johann Heinrich Ramberg


Auction of the Cupids


Germany (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Etching on ivory wove paper


Image: 28.8 × 38.7 cm (11 3/8 × 15 1/4 in.); Plate: 31.5 × 41 cm (12 7/16 × 16 3/16 in.); Sheet: 34 × 42.2 cm (13 7/16 × 16 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Dorothy Braude Edinburg to the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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