Definition of putto in English:



  • A representation of a naked child, especially a cherub or a cupid in Renaissance art.

    • ‘Between two relief sculptures of putti sit a Raphael drawing and a Netherlandish portrait of a man.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the other winged putto looks sadly over her shoulder, perhaps pitying Cupid, or possibly foreseeing his own fate.’
    • ‘The cymbals have sounded, and one of the leopards has turned to look at a goat harassing a putto in the foreground.’
    • ‘A blue-winged putto, garlanded with pink and white flowers, gazes forward into the viewer's space.’
    • ‘An aging, well-dressed don masked in dark glasses sits before a Tiepolo-like fresco of some celestial investiture involving putto and sword.’
    • ‘Console tables had elaborately carved supports incorporating tritons, putti, and mermaids set amid scrolling vegetation.’
    • ‘The work comprises a limestone bust lodged under a classicized pediment surmounted by the poet's coat of arms and two putti.’
    • ‘A putto, holding aloft a long, thorned stem, which is topped by a tiny house, seems to imply a whole mythic structure.’
    • ‘Most of the frescoes on the ceiling are gone, but there are ornate chandeliers, and putti attend the plaster reliefs above.’
    • ‘Behind Ariadne, putti plant a grapevine into the ground, and a vista expands to a second rocky outcropping in the sea.’
    • ‘The putti celebrate the pleasures of life in vignettes representing an arcadian fantasy.’
    • ‘There are also putti riding dolphins and angels with fluttering tunics pressing against their epicene bodies.’
    • ‘If so, are the millstone and putto in keeping with his approach to such illustrations?’
    • ‘At the top of this painting, three putti hover over the scene.’
    • ‘A putto carved at Rimini, for example, embodies the ‘stone-blossom’ itself.’
    • ‘The central silver panel depicts an angel or putto with outstretched wings and arms, soaring heavenward.’
    • ‘The putto about to crush a dragon with a stone (which is missing) is a motif he would reuse in goldsmithing.’
    • ‘The heads of the typically rococo putti appear on the handle and at the tops of the legs, which scroll out to bold shell feet.’
    • ‘Cupid clambers over the roots of a dead tree and the unroused putti, towards the two lovers.’
    • ‘Among the various bits and pieces we see in this corner are plaster casts of the heads and tiny wings of two putti or cupids.’


Italian, literally ‘boy’, from Latin putus.