The poet Hesiod first represents him as a cosmic who emerged self-born at the beginning of time to spur procreation. The same poet later describes two love-gods, Eros and Himeros (Desire), accompanying Aphrodite at her birth from the sea-foam. Some classical authors interpreted this to mean they were born of the goddess at her birth, or alongside her in the sea-foam. The scene was particular popular in art, where the pair flutter around the goddess seated in her floating conch-shell.
Eventually Eros was multiplied by ancient poets and artists into a host of Erotes or Cupids, as they are commonly called in English. The one Eros, however, remained distinct in myth. It was he who lighted the flame of love in the hearts of the gods and men, armed either with a bow and arrows or else a flaming torch. He was also the object of cult. Eros was often portrayed as a child, the disobedient, but fiercely loyal, son of Aphrodite.In ancient vase painting Eros is depicted as either a handsome youth or as a child. His attributes were varied: from the usual bow and arrows, to the gifts of a lover--a hare, a sash, or a flower. Sculptors preferred the image of the bow-armed boy, whereas mosaic artists favoured the figure of a winged putto (plump baby)."