Sleep, Myths and Allegories in the Painting "Amor" from the Collection of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art


  • Joana Vitkutė



Lithuanian National Museum of Art, Western European art, classical mythology, Amor, François Lemoyne, iconography of sleep


Enveloped in mystery and provoking imagination, the world of sleep and dreams has been a rich source of inspiration for artists since the earliest times. The cornerstones of the secular iconography of sleep in Western art were laid by classical Greek and Roman culture. In the course of centuries, quite a few adventures of gods, goddesses and heroes described in classical myths and other works of literature of that time inspired many artworks interpreting the mythological heritage, which were in some way related to rest or dreams. There is an example of such work in Lithuania as well – the collection of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art (hereinafter referred to as LNMA) boasts an image of the sleeping mythical god of love Amor, created by an unknown artist after the 1729 painting by the French painter François Lemoyne (1688–1737) possibly in the 18th century or the first half of the 19th century, and the search for the history and meaning of the iconography of this work is the main subject of this article.

Author Biography

Joana Vitkutė

is an art researcher and museologist. In 2019, she completed her BA in Art Research at the Vilnius Academy of Arts, and in 2020, obtained an MA in Art History from the Rijksuniversi- teit Groningen in the Netherlands. In 2021, she started postgraduate studies of art research at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. From 2021, she is a junior research fellow at the Institute of Art Research of the Vilnius Academy of Arts and an exhibition and collection curator of the Vilnius Picture Gallery. Her area of scholarship is 16th–19th century Lithuanian and Western secular art. The researcher takes interest in various aspects of early secular art – the iconography of artworks, the history of their origin and functioning. Recently she has been devoting much attention to the genre of early children’s portraits.



How to Cite

Vitkutė, J. (2021). Sleep, Myths and Allegories in the Painting "Amor" from the Collection of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art. Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, (106), 45–77.