This painting tells the story of a poem about how Cupid complains to his mother, Venus (the goddess of love), of how the bees sting him because he has stolen their honeycomb. He wonders that creatures so small can inflict so much pain. Venus laughs and tells him that their stings can be compared to the wounds that he himself inflicts on all those hit by his arrows. The brief ecstasy of love may soon be replaced by suffering and heartbreak. A sign in the top left corner refers to a poem of Theocritus: ´life´s pleasure is mixed with pain.´
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