First mentioned in the Book of Genesis, the cherub is a type of angel in service to God. They are mentioned several times in both the Old and New Testament. Although there is some variation in the physical description of a cherub, any biblical version varies widely from the appearance of the popularized cherub synonymous with romance and Valentine's Day.
Cherubim are described in Ezekiel 10:14 as having four faces: man, ox, lion and eagle. They also each had four wings with human hands underneath. In a later section of Ezekiel, the cherubim have only two faces.
Distinction from Putti
The correct term for the type of cherub found on greeting cards is "putto," the plural of which is "putti." This terms means "a figure of an infant boy especially in European art of the Renaissance." Renaissance artists used the symbol of a winged boy to represent love and divinity, among other things, in sculptures and paintings. Because of the visual similarities between putti and cherubs, the distinction between the two terms has become blurred over the centuries.
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