Behold, the Putto

OK, today you’re most likely going to learn something whether you wish to or not.  Who knows?  You might even learn it from reading this blog post!  (I would tell you that I already knew this, but then I’d be lying and the putto might get me!)

I find the iconography and other art in cemeteries to be fascinating.  I’ve not yet created a Facebook album for my cemetery photos, but I’ve decided that I’m going to create such an album and start populating it as time goes by.  I’ve already got some shots that I like from various cemeteries: Mt. Auburn in Boston, the Granary Burial Grounds (also in Boston), Cloverdale’s cemetery, Healdsburg’s cemetery, Golden Gate National Cemetery and a few others.  Yesterday (Saturday) I talked my wife into going on a date with me to (you guessed it!) a cemetery!!!!  While I got out and wandered the grounds of the East Union Cemetery in Manteca, CA, she stayed in the car in the shade and relaxed.  (She was quite the live wire – pun intended!!!!)

When I wander cemeteries, I look for aforementioned artwork…and also for epitaphs or other wording that captures my imagination.  I then try to capture it visually.  I’ll be sharing numerous of the photos in the next few days.  (By the way, I leave on a nearly 8-week trip to Africa and I won’t likely be able to post as I’m told that Internet access, if we have it at all, will be very unreliable…sorry ’bout that!  But I should have some good photos when I get back!)

I thought that this fellow was a cherub.  I was wrong, I guess, though there is no identifiable difference between depictions of cherubs and putti.  This is most likely a putto.  Here’s your lesson for today: a putto (plural putti, pronounced POO-tee, from the Latin putus, meaning “boy” or “child”) is a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude and sometimes winged. Putti are distinct from cherubim, which is plural and refers to Biblical angels.  While “cherubs” represent the second order of angels, putti are secular and present a non-religious concept.  That being said, in the Baroque period of art, the putto came to represent the ever-present God.  A putto representing a cupid is also called an amorino (plural amorini).

Say “Hi!” to this young putto…

puttoON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1883 long distance telephone service began from Chicago to New York.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the idea of using light in telephone communications is not a modern invention.  Reportedly in 1880, Alexander Graham Bell invented a phone that used sunlight in place of wires.  Pretty smart guy, that Alexander Graham Bell!


4 thoughts on “Behold, the Putto

  1. Hey, it just so happens I am on the cemetery committee here in town and it is an old cemetery. The places I love to walk and read are the older ones you see many of the people died so very young and the babies to:( I like the stones that have cameos on them with pictures of the people buried there You don’t find them as much any more. I could read them all day long it gives me a feeling of sadness but hope of the resurrection and I wonder if the one I am reading was a Christian or not. Makes me think.

    1. I understand. I was just telling my wife yesterday that it was amazing how many died young, very young. There were numerous ones in the cemetery yesterday that had cameos on them. Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Boston is incredible. The old Granary cemetery in Boston next to Park Street church has some very famous people buried in it, too, and I thought it was very interesting….


  2. Try Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore. Amazing place! I have a Pinterest board devoted to cemeteries and the interesting statues and epitaphs within.

  3. The places and things people pass by every day can make books look bad,we have everything free around us and never see the beauty and worth of it because we can’t see the inner beauty and get in touch with the hearts of the human species the way God can he can see our worth!!Psalms”96 If we wrote a book on every human being since the garden the universe couldn’t hold the pages it would be endless!

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