[poo-toh; Italian poot-taw]
noun, plural putti [poo-tee; Italian poot-tee] . Fine Arts.
a representation of a cherubic infant, often shown winged.

1635–45; < Italian: literally, boy < Latin putus

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World English Dictionary
putto (ˈpʊtəʊ)
n , pl -ti
See also amoretto a representation of a small boy, a cherub or cupid, esp in baroque painting or sculpture
[from Italian, from Latin putus boy]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1644, from It. putti "small boys," pl. of putto, from L. putus "boy, child."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


a nude, chubby child figure, often with wings, frequently appearing in both mythological and religious paintings and sculpture, especially of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Derived from personifications of love, or Eros figures, in Greek and Roman art, putti came to be used to portray cherubim in Italian paintings of the 15th century, especially those of the Madonna and Child. With the revival of classical mythological subjects in the late 15th century, Cupid was commonly represented as a putto, and numbers of anonymous putti were frequently depicted in attendance on various immortals.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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