Cupid blowing soap bubbles

Rembrandt Van Rijn - oil on canvas - 75 x 93 cm - 1634
In the artistic imagination, Soap Bubbles have acquired, over the centuries, a certain significance in the symbology of play and of the ephemeral nature of human passions, youth and life itself.

Thus, the association of this object, or rather playful substance, with the character of Cupid in Rembrandt's painting will not appear strange. The name of this character of ancient mythology has the meaning of "desire" and the allegory of this typically human passion has been entrusted to a childlike character by virtue of the spontaneity and inability to refrain oneself that characterises children with respect to passions.

From a certain point of view, Cupid represents a transient and short-lived phase of human life; on the other hand, he is a symbol of a part of the adult nature which, as far as can be dominated with reason and education, cannot be suppressed and always finds the way to "vent itself" in particular moments of euphoria, anger, passion, etc.

In the painting, the soap bubble is associated with the character of Cupid and all the meanings attached to him, by virtue of the characteristics of this object: physical lightness, carefreeness that suggests its fluctuation in the air and the same act of giving it shape with the simple act of blowing, the delicacy of something that will sooner or later burst since in contact with the surrounding reality... Soap Bubbles do not only conceal a game but a representation of ourselves, adults and children, and our desire to express ourselves in something indefinite and spontaneous.


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