Guido Reni, Sacred and Profane Love, 1623, 132 x 163 cm, Genoa, Palazzo Spinola
This painting shows the triumph of sacred over profane love, a theme that was often painted during the Renaissance and the seventeenth century.
Profane love, identified with sensual pleasures, is represented by Cupid, the child god of love.
He’s been tied and blindfolded and his arrows are being thrown into a fire. The lighting reflects the influence of Caravaggio. Reni only occasionally used this type of chiaroscuro effect. The dark, deep hues are characteristic of his paintings until he introduced a very light palette, late in his life