Cicero, however, says that there were three Cupids, as well as three Venuses: the first Cupid was the son of Mercury and Diana, the second of Mercury and the second Venus, and the third of Mars and the third Venus.
Cupid continued to be a popular figure in the Middle Ages, when under Christian influence he often had a dual nature as Heavenly and Earthly love.
In the Renaissance, a renewed interest in classical philosophy endowed him with complex allegorical meanings.
His symbols are the arrow and torch, "because love wounds and inflames the heart." These attributes and their interpretation were established by late antiquity, as summarized by Isidore of Seville (d. Cupid is also sometimes depicted blindfolded and described as blind, not so much in the sense of sightless—since the sight of the beloved can be a spur to love—as blinkered and arbitrary.
As described by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1590s): Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Cupids are a frequent motif of both Roman art and later Western art of the classical tradition.