Allegory of Love Tamed, 1690s
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909
As the name in the cartouche indicates, Mariette believed that this drawing was by the Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680). Despite his incorrect attribution, Mariette was not too far off the mark: the drawing is by Gaulli, a pupil and close collaborator of Bernini’s in Rome. Gaulli was known to have executed fresco decorations based on Bernini’s inventions. Mariette described Gaulli as “the hand by which Bernini expressed in painting his new and clever ideas.” In this allegory of tamed love, Cupid tramples on his bow and arrows while holding an hourglass and a small dying bird, indicating that time and poverty are capable of extinguishing love.