Pair of 19th Century Italian Carved Wood Figures of Cherubs/Putti


In stock


Meticulously carved from beechwood, this cherub pair recalls the iconic Renaissance style of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Better recognized by their Italian name, putti—the singular putto refers to the Latin putus, meaning “boy” or “child”—these types of figures often recur in religious artwork as symbols of God’s omnipresence. Typically depicted as chubby male children and occasionally with wings, the putti motif initially disappeared from art during the Middle Ages. Historians generally attribute its later revival to Donatello, an Italian devoted to classical sculpture who lived in Florence in the 1420s. Under Donatello’s influence, putti became especially known as “musician angels,” and were often painted or carved with instruments. These 19th Century sculptures each hold a tambourine aloft their curled heads elegantly poised as if caught in a musical performance. A close eye will additionally appreciate the gentle curvature of the bodies, almost infantile in their apparent softness, including the dimples that delicately detail the knees and knuckles. Below the putti’s feet, the carving impressively transitions to a matching set of ornate pedestals. Here the artist achieves a notable functional elegance: the detailed scrollwork that so strikingly lifts the putti also forms a sturdily pronged base, conducive to secure placement on any level surface. At just over four feet in height, this Italian Renaissance pair could handsomely frame an entryway.

Each H= 52 in. W= 19 in. D= 19 in., 45 lbs.

Additional information

Weight 45 lbs
Dimensions L 19 x W 19 x H 52 in
Style / Period


Year / Century

19th Century

Place of Origin



beech wood


Cherub 1: Near the figurine's feet is some wood separation from age. The scroll leg on the main base shows it has been reglued.

Cherub 2: The tambourine has been reglued as it was cracked in the middle from end to end. The tambourine has two jingles missing. The torso of the cherub has filled wood holes. The base on which the cherub stands shows separation.

Nonetheless, they have a rich patina and the carvings are divine. We will be happy to provide more images upon request. The cherubs are held in place with a wooden center peg, however, they lift off the base and are not fastened. They will require white glove shipping.

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