In order to truly appreciate the various paintings depicting this love-story, one must first understand the key elements of the myth. Psyche / ˈ s aɪ k iː / (Greek: Ψυχή, romanized: Psykhê) is the Greek goddess of the soul. Men and women came from far and near to see this young virgin. The setting here is clearly a bedroom within Psyche's palace. Here in David's portrayal of Cupid and Psyche, Cupid has his typical weapons of love — his bow and arrows (resting by the side of the bed). You need JavaScript enabled in your browser to use this website effectively. But when she learned that she was pregnant, her curiosity overwhelmed her — she had to see her lover's face. The love story of Cupid and the beautiful princess Psyche was a popular theme among many 19th-century artists. There is a stark contrast in the bodies of Cupid and Psyche. In the mythological painting of The Abduction of Psyche, Bouguereau highlighted the subtleties of the human body with delicate brushwork to present the theme of love. The man’s eyes looked to the right side, and the wings on his back brought them up. In an effort to follow Cupid, Psyche had fallen unconscious. However, the different works of Bouguereau and David have provided a new level of appreciation for the personality of Psyche. Some of these images of Cupid and Psyche convey certain aspects of the tale, reflecting so much of the artistic interpretations of the literature. He would come to her at night and inspire her with love and passion. The Abduction of Psyche was depicted by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, which was depended on Greek mythology.It was said that Psyche, the daughter of a king, was a beauty who worshiped as a goddess by citizens, which angered Venus, so that Venus decided to punish her that she has to married the world’s most humble person. * This is clearly a romance that has transcended time. Both lovers appear to be mature and ready to accept their new life together. Other paintings focused on the emotion of the characters. With Zeus' connivance, Cupid brought his wife to Olympus, where, at Zeus's command, she was given nectar and ambrosia so she would become immortal. Clearly it is her only desire to be with Cupid for eternity. Abduction of Psyche. Another symbolic presence can be attributed to the "butterfly", which loomed behind Psyche. This piece was completed in 1817, and it now hangs on the wall of The Cleveland Museum of Art. The background in these paintings provides yet another dimension for comparison. Perhaps, he no longer needs his bow and arrow, because he has finally kindled the love of his life — Psyche. In order to better appreciate ‘The Abduction of Psyche’, the tale of Cupid and Psyche needs to be told. And so they obeyed. Find more prominent pieces of mythological painting at – best visual art database. After learning of what had transpired, Venus set out to make Psyche suffer. Zeus, in turn persuaded Venus to invite Psyche into their heavens. Bouguereau's painting depicts the characters of Cupid and Psyche as immortal lovers, transcending the world below. * The story of Cupid and Psyche first appeared in the Roman novel, Metamorphoseon: Asinius Aureas by Apuleius in the 2nd century AD. On the other hand, Bouguereau used a natural setting with undefined clouds and bright light. Their physical bodies seem to be intertwined as one — the very essence of the union of marriage. This may be clearly contrasted with Bouguereau's painting, in that David's depiction reveals that Cupid is equipped to ignite or ward off the sparks of love. And so she did, with many tests and punishments. He begged Zeus, the king of the gods, to allow the union of Psyche and him. Purple is the color, which stands out most in the painting. . Clearly it is her only desire to be with Cupid for eternity. She asked him to "infuse into the bosom of that haughty girl a passion for some low, mean, unworthy being, so that she may reap a mortification as great as her present exultation and triumph." Many of the highlights of this fable are constantly depicted in pieces of art. After going through hardships, she finally found the small box that carried the goddess’ beauty, which was the death itself. (Bulfinch, 8) Psyche accepted the terms of their relationship for quite some time. He had a difficult start in his career, but he was able to attain a long, successful career as an academic painter, showing his works in the annual Paris Salons. The perpendicular positions, of Cupid's copper-tanned physique, amuse the observer. (Bulfinch, 6) Cupid had every intention of appeasing his mother; however, once he had set eyes on Psyche, he too had fallen captive to her beauty and charm. It was known to Latin writers such as Augustine of Hippo, Macrobius, Sidonius Apollinaris, Martianus Capella, and Fulgentius, but toward the end of the 6th century lapsed into obscurity and survived what was formerly known as the "Dark Ages" through perhaps a single manuscript. Find more prominent pieces of mythological painting at – best visual art database.