Greek and Roman Myths in Art
 

 

 



Cupid and Psyche

 

 

 


see also:

The Odyssey of Homer


illustrations by John Flaxman

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Greek and Roman Myths in Art

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see also EXPLORATION (in Russian):

Homer  "Iliad "and "Odyssey"

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Apuleius "The Golden Asse"

illustrations by Jean de Bosschere and Martin Van Maele

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Longus

"The Pastorals, or the Loves of Daphnis and Chloe"

illustrations by Marc Chagall

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Greek and Roman Myths in Art
 

 

 


Cupid and Psyche
 




Cupid
 


Cupid

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

ancient Roman god of love in all its varieties, the counterpart of the Greek god Eros and the equivalent of Amor in Latin poetry. According to myth, Cupid was the son of Mercury, the winged messenger of the gods, and Venus, the goddess of love; he usually appeared as a winged infant carrying a bow and a quiver of arrows, whose wounds inspired love or passion in his every victim. He was sometimes portrayed wearing armour like that of Mars, the god of war, perhaps to suggest ironic parallels between warfare and romance or to symbolize the invincibility of love.

Although some literature portrayed Cupid as callous and careless, he was generally viewed as beneficent, on account of the happiness he imparted to couples both mortal and immortal. At the worst he was considered mischievous in his matchmaking, this mischief often directed by his mother, Venus. In one tale, her machinations backfired when she used Cupid in revenge on the mortal Psyche, only to have Cupid fall in love and succeed in making Psyche his immortal wife.

 

Raphael
1483-1520
Italy

Cupid and Graces.

 

Pompeo
Batoni
1708-1787
Italy
Cupid and Psyche.

 

Adolphe-
William
Bouguereau 
1825-1905
France

Cupid and Psyche.
1895

 

Adolphe-
William
Bouguereau 
1825-1905
France

Cupid and Psyche.
1889

 

Adolphe-
William
Bouguereau 
1825-1905
France

Cupid and Psyche.
1889

 

Adolphe-
William
Bouguereau 
1825-1905
France

Young Girl Defending Herself Against Eros.
1880

 

Jacques-
Lois
David
1748-1825
France

Cupid and Psyche.
1817
The Cleveland Museum of Art

 

Charles-
Antoine
Coypel
1694-1752
France
Cupid and Psyche.

 

Francois
Gerard
1770-1837
France

Amor and Psyche.
Musée du Louvre, Paris

 

Jean-Baptiste
Greuze
1725-1805
France

Amor and Psyche.

 


Jacob
Jordaens
1593-1678
Netherlands
Cupid and Sleeping Nymphs.

 

Hans
von
Aachen
1552-1615
Germany

Bacchus, Ceres and Cupid.
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

 

Pompeo
Batoni
1708-1787
Italy

Diana and Cupid.
1761
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 

Caravaggio
1571-1610
Italy

Sleeping Cupid.
1608
Galleria Palatina, Florence

 

Caravaggio
1571-1610
Italy

Profane Love.
(Cupid).

 

Adolphe-
William
Bouguereau 
1825-1905
France

Cupid with a Batterfly.
1888

 

Adolphe-
William
Bouguereau 
1825-1905
France

Cupidon.
1875
Bridgeman Art Library, London

 

Edward
Burne-
Jones
1833-1898
England

Cupid.

 

Edward
Burne-
Jones
1833-1898
England

Cupid and Psyche.

 

 


Psyche
 

 


Psyche

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

in classical mythology, princess of outstanding beauty who aroused Venus’ jealousy and Cupid’s love. The fullest version of the tale is that told by the 2nd-century-ad Latin author Apuleius in his Metamorphoses, Books IV–VI (The Golden Ass).

According to Apuleius, the jealous Venus commanded her son Cupid (the god of love) to inspire Psyche with love for the most despicable of men. Instead, Cupid placed Psyche in a remote palace where he could visit her secretly and, by his warning, only in total darkness. One night Psyche lit a lamp and found that the figure at her side was the god of love himself. When a drop of oil from the lamp awakened him, he reproached Psyche and fled. Wandering the earth in search of him, Psyche fell into the hands of Venus, who imposed upon her difficult tasks. Finally, touched by Psyche’s repentance, Cupid rescued her, and, at his instigation, Jupiter made her immortal and gave her in marriage to Cupid.

The sources of the tale are a number of folk motifs; the handling by Apuleius, however, conveys an allegory of the progress of the Soul guided by Love, which adhered to Psyche in Renaissance literature and art. In Greek folklore the soul was pictured as a butterfly, which is another meaning of the word psychē.

 

John
William
Waterhouse
1849-1917
England

Psyche Opening the Golden Box.

 

Edward
Burne-
Jones
1833-1898
England

Psyche.

 

John
William
Waterhouse
1849-1917
England
Psyche Entering Cupid's Garden.

 

Edward
Burne-
Jones
1833-1898
England

Pan and Nymph.
1872-74

 

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