Definition of putto in English:


nounPlural putti

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

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


Italian, literally ‘boy’, from Latin putus.