Images "renaissance putti"
The putto (pl. putti) is a figure of a human baby or toddler, almost always male, often naked and having wings, found especially in Italian RenaissanceBaroque art. The figure derives from ancient art but was rediscovered in the early Quattrocento. Putti are distinct from cherubim, but some English-speakers confuse them with each other, except that in the plural, "the Cherubim" refers to the literal biblical angels, while "cherubs" is used more often to refer to the child-like representations (putti) or in figurative senses. Putti are allegorical, non-literal figures, and later in Christian art came to represent the omnipresence of God.
- "By the time the Baroque Era came about, which might arguably have been the high point for Cherubim and Putti, both of these little beings were usually being depicted in the same way. Which one they were, simply depended upon the theme of the painting or sculpture: If religious (sacred) – they were Cherubs. If secular or mythic (profane) – they were Putti.
- "In either case, they'd be hard to pull off successfully today because most people are unaware of their roles in semiotics, or in philosophy/mythology/history, or in religion."
Putti, cupids, and angels (see below) can be found in both religious and secular art from the 1420s in Italy, the turn of the 16th century in the Netherlands and Germany, the Mannerist period and late Renaissance in France, and throughout Baroque ceiling frescoes. So many artists have depicted them that a list would be pointless, but among the best-known are the sculptor Donatello and the painter Raphael. The two relaxed and curious putti who appear at the foot of Raphael's Sistine Madonna are often reproduced.