Saturday, December 10, 2016

36 Paintings, Olympian deities, Cupid and Psyche, by the Old Masters, with footnotes #7

Sir Edward John Poynter, Bt., P.R.A., R.W.S., 1836-1919
PSYCHE
Watercolour
75 by 55cm., 29½ by 21½ in.
Private collection

There were once a king and queen, rulers of an unnamed city, who had three daughters of conspicuous beauty. The youngest and most beautiful was Psyche, whose admirers, neglecting the proper worship of the love goddess Venus, instead prayed and made offerings to her. It was rumored that she was the second coming of Venus, or the daughter of Venus from an unseemly union between the goddess and a mortal. Venus is offended, and commissions Cupid to work her revenge.


Luca Giordano (1632–1705)
Psyche Honoured by the People, c. 1692 and 1702
Oil on copper
Height: 57.5 cm (22.6 in). Width: 68.9 cm (27.1 in).
Royal Collection, Windsor Castle

Luca Giordano (18 October 1634 – 12 January 1705) was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching. Fluent and decorative, he worked successfully in Naples and Rome, Florence and Venice, before spending a decade in Spain.

Born in Naples, Giordano was the son of the painter Antonio Giordano. In around 1650 he was apprenticed to Ribera, and his early work was heavily influenced by his teacher. Like Ribera, he painted many half-length figures of philosophers, either imaginary portraits of specific figures, or generic types.

He acquired the nickname Luca fa presto, which translates into "Luca paints quickly." His speed, in design as well as handiwork, and his versatility, which enabled him to imitate other painters deceptively, earned for him two other epithets, "The Thunderbolt" (Fulmine) and "The Proteus" of painting.


Following a period studying in Rome, Parma and Venice, Giordano developed an elaborate Baroque style fusing Venetian and Roman Influences. His mature work combines the ornamental pomp of Paul Veronese with the lively complex schemes, the "grand manner", of Pietro da Cortona. He is also noted for his lively and showy use of colour. More

Cupid instead scratches himself with his own dart, which makes any living thing fall in love with the first thing it sees. As soon as Cupid scratches himself he falls deeply in love with Psyche and disobeys his mother's order to make Psyche fall in love with something hideous.
Alphonse Legros,  (1837–1911)
Cupid and Psyche, c. before 1867
Oil on canvas
Height: 116.8 cm (46 in). Width: 141.4 cm (55.7 in).
Tate Britain

Alphonse Legros, (b Dijon, 8 May 1837; d Watford, 8 Dec. 1911). French-born painter and printmaker who settled in England in 1863 (encouraged by Whistler) and became a British citizen in 1881, although he never acquired fluency in English. His chief importance was as an influential teacher (particularly of etching) at the Slade School, where he was professor 1876–92 in succession to Poynter. He encouraged a respect for the tradition of the Old Masters. More

William Etty, RA (1787 – 1849)
Cupid and Psyche, c. 1821


William Etty RA (10 March 1787 – 13 November 1849) was an English artist best known for his history paintings containing nude figures. He was the first significant British painter of nudes and still lifes. Born in York, he left school at the age of 12 to become an apprentice printer in Hull. He completed his apprenticeship seven years later and moved to London, where in 1807 he joined the Royal Academy Schools. There he studied under Thomas Lawrence and trained by copying works by other artists. Etty earned respect at the Royal Academy of Arts for his ability to paint realistic flesh tones, but had little commercial or critical success in his early years in London. More

Although her two humanly beautiful sisters have married, the idolized Psyche has yet to find love. Her father suspects that they have incurred the wrath of the gods, and consults the oracle of Apollo. The response is unsettling: the king is to expect no human son-in-law, but rather a dragon-like creature who harasses the world with fire and iron and is feared by even Jupiter and the inhabitants of the underworld.

Luca Giordano, 1692-170
Psyche’s Parents Offering Sacrifice to Apollo

Luca Giordano (18 October 1634 – 12 January 1705) was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching. Fluent and decorative, he worked successfully in Naples and Rome, Florence and Venice, before spending a decade in Spain.

Born in Naples, Giordano was the son of the painter Antonio Giordano. In around 1650 he was apprenticed to Ribera, and his early work was heavily influenced by his teacher. Like Ribera, he painted many half-length figures of philosophers, either imaginary portraits of specific figures, or generic types.

He acquired the nickname Luca fa presto, which translates into "Luca paints quickly." His speed, in design as well as handiwork, and his versatility, which enabled him to imitate other painters deceptively, earned for him two other epithets, "The Thunderbolt" (Fulmine) and "The Proteus" of painting.

Following a period studying in Rome, Parma and Venice, Giordano developed an elaborate Baroque style fusing Venetian and Roman Influences. His mature work combines the ornamental pomp of Paul Veronese with the lively complex schemes, the "grand manner", of Pietro da Cortona. He is also noted for his lively and showy use of colour. More

Psyche is arrayed in funeral attire, conveyed by a procession to the peak of a rocky crag, and exposed. Marriage and death are merged into a single rite of passage, a "transition to the unknown". Zephyr the West Wind bears her up to meet her fated match, and deposits her in a lovely meadow (locus amoenus), where she promptly falls asleep.

John Wood, (1801–1870)
Psyche Conveyed by Zephyrs to the Valley of Pleasure, c. 1826
Oil on panel 
54 x 43.2 cm 
Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, England

John Wood (1801–1870), painter, son of a drawing-master, was born in London on 29 June 1801. He studied in Sass's school and at the Royal Academy, where in 1825 he gained the gold medal for painting. In the two previous years he had exhibited ‘Adam and Eve lamenting over the Body of Abel,’ and ‘Michael contending with Satan,’ and in 1826 he sent ‘Psyche wafted by the Zephyrs.’ These and other works displayed unusual powers of invention and design, and gained for him a great temporary reputation. In 1834 he competed successfully for the commission for the altar-piece of St. James's, Bermondsey, and in 1836 gained a prize at Manchester for his ‘Elizabeth in the Tower.’ During the latter part of his career he painted chiefly scripture subjects and portraits, which he exhibited largely at the Royal Academy and British Institution down to 1862. His portraits of Sir Robert Peel, Earl Grey, John Britton (in the National Portrait Gallery), and others have been engraved, as well as several of his fancy subjects. Wood died on 19 April 1870. More

The transported girl awakes to find herself at the edge of a cultivated grove (lucus). Exploring, she finds a marvelous house with golden columns, a carved ceiling of citrus wood and ivory, silver walls embossed with wild and domesticated animals, and jeweled mosaic floors. A disembodied voice tells her to make herself comfortable, and she is entertained at a feast that serves itself and by singing to an invisible lyre.

Guillaum Seignac, (1870–1924)
The Awakening of Psyche, circa 1904
Oil on panel 
Height: 52.39 cm (20.63 in.), Width: 26.99 cm (10.63 in.)
Private collection

Guillaum Seignac (1870–1924) was a French academic painter. He was born in Rennes in 1870, and died in Paris in 1924. He started training at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he spent 1889 through 1895. He had many teachers there, including Gabriel Ferrier, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, and Tony Robert-Fleury. In addition to his training in the academic style, much of Seignac's work displayed classical themes and style, for example, his use of diaphanous drapery covering a woman's body is reminiscent of classical style, in particular the sculptor Phidias. In 1897, Guillaume Seignac regularly exhibited at the Salon and won several honors, including in 1900 honorable mention and in 1903 a Third Class medal. More

Although fearful and without sexual experience, she allows herself to be guided to a bedroom, where in the darkness a being she cannot see makes her his wife. She gradually learns to look forward to his visits, though he always departs before sunrise and forbids her to look upon him, and soon she becomes pregnant.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, (1732–1806)
Psyche showing her Sisters her Gifts from Cupid, c. 1753
Oil on canvas
168.3 × 192.4 cm (66.3 × 75.7 in)
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Embodying the freedom and curiosity of the French Enlightenment, Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) developed an exuberant and fluid manner as a painter, draftsman, and printmaker. Prolific and inventive, he abandoned early on the conventional career path dictated by the hierarchical structure of the Royal Academy, working largely for private patrons. His work constitutes a further elaboration of the Rococo idiom established by Antoine Watteau and François Boucher, a manner perfectly suited to his subjects, which favored the playful, the erotic, and the joys of domesticity. More

Psyche's family longs for news of her, and after much cajoling, Cupid, still unknown to his bride, permits Zephyr to carry her sisters up for a visit. When they see the splendor in which Psyche lives, they become envious, and undermine her happiness by prodding her to uncover her husband's true identity, since surely as foretold by the oracle she was lying with the vile winged serpent, who would devour her and her child.

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898) 
Psyche's Sisters Visit Her
Oil on canvas 
Height: 119.5 cm (47.05 in.), Width: 266.7 cm (105 in.) 
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery (England)

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898) was a British artist and designer closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Burne-Jones was closely involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of stained glass art in Britain. His early paintings show the heavy inspiration of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but by the 1860s Burne-Jones was discovering his own artistic "voice". In 1877, he was persuaded to show eight oil paintings at the Grosvenor Gallery (a new rival to the Royal Academy). These included The Beguiling of Merlin. The timing was right, and he was taken up as a herald and star of the new Aesthetic Movement. More

Luca Giordano, (1634 – 1705)
Psyche's Sisters Giving Her A Lamp And A Dagger, circa 1697
Oil on copper
58.1 cm (22.87 in.), Width: 68.9 cm (27.13 in.)
Royal Collection Trust (UK) - Buckingham Palace, United Kingdom

Luca Giordano, (1634 – 1705), see below

Sir Peter Paul Rubens, (1577 – 1640) 
Amor and Psyche
Private collection

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.
In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England. More

Willem van Mieris, (1662 – 1747)
Cupid and Psyche 
Oil on copper
Height: 16.6 cm (6.54 in.), Width: 21.8 cm (8.58 in.)
The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia

Willem van Mieris (3 June 1662 – 26 January 1747) was an 18th-century painter from the Northern Netherlands. He was born in Leiden as the son of Frans van Mieris sr. and brother of Jan van Mieris. He was a member of the Leiden Guild of St. Luke and a founding member of the Leidse Tekenacademie which opened in 1694. His pupils were Catharina Backer, Abraham Alensoon, and Hieronymous van de Mij. He retired in 1736 because he was partially blind. He died, aged 84, in Leiden.
His works are extremely numerous and show the influence of Francis van Bossuit as well as his father. As an artist, he did not equal his father.
van Mieris has works in the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as Cheltenham and Derby Museum and Art Gallery. More

Charles-Antoine Coypel IV, (French, 1694 - 1752)
Cupid abandoning Psyche (1st version), c. 1736
Oil on canvas
82 cm (32.28 in.), Width: 63 cm (24.8 in.)
Private collection


Charles-Antoine Coypel IV, (French, 1694 - 1752); grandson of Noël Coypel I, nephew of Noël-Nicolas Coypel III, and son of Antoine Coypel II, with whom he trained.

His glorious ascendency helped him to be appointed to the Academy at only 18 (on 31 August 1715), without having competed for the Prix de Rome as was customary at the time; his reception piece was Jason and Medea.

Contrary to other members of his family, whose output was almost exclusively devoted to classical and history painting, Charles-Antoine produced many gallant and humorous subjects. He also had a special interest in pastels after travels with his then-friend Rosalba Carreira in France in 1720 and painted many subsequent portraits in this medium.

Like his father and grandfather before him, he had the best career possible, being promoted adjunct professor on 26 October 1720, professor on 10 January 1730, adjunct rector and rector the same day on 26 March 1746, and finally director of the French Academy from 23 June 1747 until his death on 14 June 1752. He also inherited from his father the positions of Painter of the Duke of Orleans in 1722 and Director of the Drawings and Paintings to the king in 1722. He became Premier Peintre du Roi in 1747.

He had no children, having remained single all his life, and was therefore last in line of the illustrious Coypel family (counting three directors of the Academy). More

One night after Cupid falls asleep, Psyche carries out the plan her sisters devised: she brings out a dagger and a lamp she had hidden in the room, in order to see and kill the monster. But when the light instead reveals the most beautiful creature she has ever seen, she is so startled that she wounds herself on one of the arrows in Cupid's cast-aside quiver. Struck with a feverish passion, she spills hot oil from the lamp and wakes him. He flees, and though she tries to pursue, he flies away and leaves her on the bank of a river.

Edward Calvert, (1799–1883)
Psyche at the Stream

Oil on board
30 x 50.5 cm
The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

Edward Calvert (20 September 1799 – 14 July 1883) was an English printmaker and painter. He was born in Appledore, in Devon, and after a spell in the Navy, studied art at Plymouth and the Royal Academy (1824). His early visionary work was greatly inspired by William Blake, and he became a member of the Blake-influenced group known as The Ancients. Amongst Calvert's finest works are exquisite miniature wood engravings which date from this early period. He also made etchings. In 1844 he visited Greece.  More

here she is discovered by the wilderness god Pan, who recognizes the signs of passion upon her. She acknowledges his divinity (numen), then begins to wander the earth looking for her lost love.

Edward Burne-Jones (1833–1898) 
Pan and Psyche, c. 1872-1874
Oil on canvas
65.1 × 53.3 cm (25.6 × 21 in)
Fogg Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898) was a British artist and designer closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Burne-Jones was closely involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of stained glass art in Britain. His early paintings show the heavy inspiration of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but by the 1860s Burne-Jones was discovering his own artistic "voice". In 1877, he was persuaded to show eight oil paintings at the Grosvenor Gallery (a new rival to the Royal Academy). These included The Beguiling of Merlin. The timing was right, and he was taken up as a herald and star of the new Aesthetic Movement. More

Psyche visits first one sister, then the other; both are seized with renewed envy upon learning the identity of Psyche's secret husband. Each sister attempts to offer herself as a replacement by climbing the rocky crag and casting herself upon Zephyr for conveyance, but instead is allowed to fall to a brutal death.

Guillaum Seignac, (1870–1924)
Psyche at the Shrines of Juno and Ceres, c. 1872-1881
Oil on canvas
Height: 119.5 cm (47.05 in.), Width: 124.5 cm (49.02 in.)
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, England

Guillaum Seignac (1870–1924) was a French academic painter, born in Rennes in 1870, and died in Paris in 1924. He started training at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he spent 1889 through 1895. He had many teachers there, including Gabriel Ferrier, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, and Tony Robert-Fleury.


In addition to his training in the academic style, much of Seignac's work displayed classical themes and style, for example, his use of diaphanous drapery covering a woman's body is reminiscent of classical style. Guillaume Seignac regularly exhibited at the Salon and won several honors, including in 1900 honorable mention and in 1903 a Third Class medal. More

In the course of her wanderings, Psyche comes upon a temple of Ceres, and inside finds a disorder of grain offerings, garlands, and agricultural implements. Recognizing that the proper cultivation of the gods should not be neglected, she puts everything in good order, prompting a theophany of Ceres herself. Although Psyche prays for her aid, and Ceres acknowledges that she deserves it, the goddess is prohibited from helping her against a fellow goddess. A similar incident occurs at a temple of Juno. Psyche realizes that she must serve Venus herself.

Edward Matthew Hale, (1852–1924)
Psyche at the Throne of Venus, c. 1883
oil on canvas
99 x 89 cm
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Luca Giordano, (1634 – 1705)
Venus Punishing Psyche with a Task, circa 1695-1697
Oil on copper
58.1 cm (22.87 in.), Width: 68.9 cm (27.13 in.)
Royal Collection Trust (UK) - Buckingham Palace, United Kingdom

Venus punishing Psyche with a Task (?) was previously interpreted as Psyche visited by her Sisters, but Sir Michael Levey argues that the scene is more accurately identified as Venus setting Psyche a task in the attempt to find Cupid. The task in question may be that of procuring a flask of water from a stream running beneath a high mountain. Venus is the lightly clad figure in the middle pointing towards Psyche, whose own gesture indicates the mountain in the background. As such this scene is the last of those in the present series. More

Luca Giordano (18 October 1634 – 12 January 1705) was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching. Fluent and decorative, he worked successfully in Naples and Rome, Florence and Venice, before spending a decade in Spain.

Born in Naples, Giordano was the son of the painter Antonio Giordano. In around 1650 he was apprenticed to Ribera, and his early work was heavily influenced by his teacher. Like Ribera, he painted many half-length figures of philosophers, either imaginary portraits of specific figures, or generic types.

He acquired the nickname Luca fa presto, which translates into "Luca paints quickly." His speed, in design as well as handiwork, and his versatility, which enabled him to imitate other painters deceptively, earned for him two other epithets, "The Thunderbolt" (Fulmine) and "The Proteus" of painting.


Following a period studying in Rome, Parma and Venice, Giordano developed an elaborate Baroque style fusing Venetian and Roman Influences. His mature work combines the ornamental pomp of Paul Veronese with the lively complex schemes, the "grand manner", of Pietro da Cortona. He is also noted for his lively and showy use of colour. More

Venus revels in having the girl under her power, and turns Psyche over to her two handmaids, Worry and Sadness, to be whipped and tortured. Venus tears her clothes and bashes her head into the ground, and mocks her for conceiving a child in a sham marriage. 

Michiel Coxie I
The fable of Cupid and Psyche, c. 1520-1535
Paper engraving
Height: 201 millimetres, Width: 230 millimetres
British Museum

Michiel Coxie, Coxie also spelled Coxcie or Coxien, Latinised name Coxius (1499 – 3 March 1592. A Flemish painter, imitator of Raphael, known as the Flemish Raphael. He was a pupil of his father, and afterwards studied under Van Orley, with whom he visited Rome in 1532, where he made the acquaintance of Vasari. Coxcie painted several large works for the Emperor Charles V and for Philip II, King of Spain, to whom he was court painter. He designed thirty-two subjects from the fable of Cupid and Psyche, which were engraved, and, in conjunction with Van Orley, he directed the execution of some tapestry made from the designs of Raphael. He copied part of the great Van Eyck altar-piece for Philip II of Spain, and portions of his copy are in Berlin and Munich and the remainder in Ghent. Several of his paintings are to be seen at Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges, Berlin, Madrid, St, Petersburg, and Vienna. In his paintings he bestowed special care on the figures of women, and they are well modelled and invariably graceful. In male figures he too often exaggerated the anatomy and selected awkward and unreasonable attitudes. His composition is very Italian in character, sometimes too academic in line and grouping, but agreeable in effect. His best works are signed and dated and are remarkable for their splendid colouring and harmonious result. More

Venus Punishing Psyche
Christie and Sollikito were Venus's handmadens who beat Psykhe upon her arrival.

The goddess then throws before her a great mass of mixed wheat, barley, poppyseed, chickpeas, lentils, and beans, demanding that she sort them into separate heaps by dawn. But when Venus withdraws to attend a wedding feast, a kind ant takes pity on Psyche, and assembles a fleet of insects to accomplish the task. 



Venus is furious when she returns drunk from the feast, and only tosses Psyche a crust of bread. At this point in the story, it is revealed that Cupid is also in the house of Venus, languishing from his injury.

At dawn, Venus sets a second task for Psyche. She is to cross a river and fetch golden wool from violent sheep who graze on the other side. These sheep are elsewhere identified as belonging to the Sun. Psyche's only intention is to drown herself on the way, but instead she is saved by instructions from a divinely inspired reed, of the type used to make musical instruments, and gathers the wool caught on briers.

Charles-Joseph Natoire, (French, 1700 - 1777)
Psyche Gathering the Fleece of the Rams of the Sun, c. 1752
Oil on canvas
 Height: 95.3 cm (37.52 in.), Width: 155.6 cm (61.26 in.)
Chrysler Museum of Art - Norfolk (Va), United States


Charles-Joseph Natoire, (French, 1700 - 1777)French Rococo painter. He was born on 3 March 1700. Son of an architect from Nîmes, he trained under Louis Galloche and François Lemoyne. He was one of the youngest recipients of the Prix de Rome, winning the prize in 1721 for his Manoah Making a Sacrifice to God to have a Son.

At his return, he became one of the most prominent painters of the country, challenging his friend Boucher, who had a very similar style. Natoire however specialised in creating decorative ensembles for prestigious patrons, including the famous Story of Psyche for the Hôtel of the Duke of Rohan in Paris.

He was appointed academician on 31 December 1734. Then he had an important career, being promoted Adjunct Professor on 2 July 1735, Professor on 2 July 1737, and finally Director of the French Academy in Rome from 1751 to 1775. He subsequently gave up painting after his final departure to Rome and instead drew many landscapes of the Roman countryside. He died in Rome on 23 August 1777. More

For Psyche's third task, she is given a crystal vessel in which to collect the black water spewed by the source of the rivers Styx and Cocytus. Climbing the cliff from which it issues, she is daunted by the foreboding air of the place and dragons slithering through the rocks, and falls into despair. Jupiter himself takes pity on her, and sends his eagle to battle the dragons and retrieve the water for her.

Paul Ayshford Methuen, (1886–1974)
Psyche Dipping Her Pitcher in the River Styx
Oil on canvas 
38.7 x 52.5 cm
Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, England

Paul Ayshford Methuen, 4th Baron Methuen of Corsham (b. 29 September 1886, d. 7 January 1974) was the son of Field Marshal Paul Sanford Methuen, 3rd Baron Methuen of Corsham and Mary Ethel Ayshford Sanford. He was educated at Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England. He graduated from New College, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, in 1910 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). He was an assistant between 1910 and 1914 at Transvaal Museum, Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa. He fought in the First World War. He gained the rank of Major in the service of the Scots Guards. He graduated from New College, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, in 1914 with a Master of Arts (M.A.). He succeeded to the title of 4th Baron Methuen of Corsham, co. Wilts [U.K., 1838] on 30 October 1932. He was trustee of the National Gallery between 1938 and 1945. He was trustee of the Tate Gallery between 1940 and 1945.2 He fought in the Second World War between 1940 and 1945. He was decorated with the award of the Chevalier, Legion of Honour in 1945. He wrote the book Normandy Diary, published 1952.2 He was invested as a Fellow, Society of Antiquaries (F.S.A.) He was a painter and zoologist. More

The last trial Venus imposes on Psyche is a quest to the underworld itself. She is to take a box (pyxis) and obtain in it a dose of the beauty of Proserpina, queen of the underworld. Venus claims her own beauty has faded through tending her ailing son, and she needs this remedy in order to attend the theatre of the gods (theatrum deorum).

Once again despairing of her task, Psyche climbs a tower, planning to throw herself off. The tower, however, suddenly breaks into speech, and advises her to travel to Lacedaemon, Greece, and to seek out the place called Taenarus, where she will find the entrance to the underworld. The tower offers instructions for navigating the underworld:

The airway of Dis is there, and through the yawning gates the pathless route is revealed. Once you cross the threshold, you are committed to the unswerving course that takes you to the very Regia of Orcus. But you shouldn’t go emptyhanded through the shadows past this point, but rather carry cakes of honeyed barley in both hands, and transport two coins in your mouth.

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898)
Psyche Giving the Coin to Charoncirca 1872-1881
Oil on canvas 
Height: 119.4 cm (47.01 in.), Width: 266.7 cm (105 in.)
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, England

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898), see above

The speaking tower warns her to maintain silence as she passes by several ominous figures: a lame man driving a mule loaded with sticks, a dead man swimming in the river that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead, and old women weaving. These, the tower warns, will seek to divert her by pleading for her help: she must ignore them. The cakes are treats for distracting Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of Orcus, and the two coins for Charon the ferryman, so she can make a return trip.

Eugène-Ernest Hillemacher, (1818–1887)
Psyché aux enfers,  Charon rows Psyche past a dead man in the water and the old weavers on shore, c. 1865

Eugène Ernest Hillemacher (13 October 1818, Paris – 3 March 1887, Paris) was a French history, portrait and genre painter in the Academic style. His mother was the youngest sister of the Belgian painter and etcher, Frédéric Théodore Faber. In 1838, he enrolled at the École des Beaux-arts, where he studied with Léon Cogniet. He had his first exhibition at the Salon in 1840, featuring his depiction of Cornelia Africana, mother of the Gracchi.

He was a frequent participant in several regular exhibitions and received numerous commissions. Many of his works were reproduced as rotogravures. He won first-class medals in 1861 and 1863. 

He was named a Knight of the Légion d'Honneur in 1869. His brother Frédéric Désiré was a well-known engraver. His sons Paul and Lucien became composers who often worked together; winning the Prix de Rome for music in 1876 and 1880. More

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898)
Psyche Obtaining the Elixir of Beauty from Proserpinecirca 1735
Oil on canvas 
Height: 258.76 cm (101.88 in.), Width: 167.01 cm (65.75 in.)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, United States

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898), see above


Everything comes to pass according to plan, and Proserpina grants Psyche's humble entreaty. As soon as she reenters the light of day, however, Psyche is overcome by a bold curiosity, and can't resist opening the box in the hope of enhancing her own beauty. She finds nothing inside but an "infernal and Stygian sleep," which sends her into a deep and unmoving torpor.

Charles Meynier, (1763 or 1768 – 1832)
Adolescent Cupid Weeping over the Portrait of Psyche whom he Has Lost (study), circa 1792 
Oil on canvas 
Height: 65.4 cm (25.75 in.), Width: 81 cm (31.89 in.) 
Private collection

Charles Meynier (1763 or 1768, Paris – 1832, Paris) was a French painter of historical subjects in the late 18th and early 19th century. He was a contemporary of Antoine-Jean Gros und Jacques-Louis David. Already at a young age he was trained by Pierre-Philippe Choffard. As a student of François-André Vincent, Meynier won the second prize in the 1789 prix de Rome competition; Girodet won. He became a member of the Académie de France à Rome. In 1793 he went back to Paris.

He made designs for the bas-reliefs and statues on the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and the Paris Bourse. From 1816 onward, he was a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. In 1819 Meynier was appointed teacher at the École des Beaux-Arts. Like his wife he died of cholera. More

Anthony van Dyck, (1599 – 1641)
Cupid and Psyche, c. 1639-1640
Oil on canvas 
Height: 199 cm (78.35 in.), Width: 191 cm (75.2 in.)
Royal Collection Trust - Kensington Palace, United Kingdom

Sir Anthony van Dyck, ( 22 March 1599 – 9 December 1641) was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England, after enjoying great success in Italy and Flanders. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next 150 years. He also painted biblical and mythological subjects, displayed outstanding facility as a draughtsman, and was an important innovator in watercolour and etching. The Van Dyke beard is named after him. More

Samuel George Enderby
Cupid Guarding Psyche, c. 1900
Oil on canvas 
97.5 cm (38.39 in.), Width: 197 cm (77.56 in.
Boston Guildhall, Boston, United Kingdom

Meanwhile, Cupid's wound has healed into a scar, and he escapes his mother's house by flying out a window. When he finds Psyche, he draws the sleep from her face and replaces it in the box, then pricks her with an arrow that does no harm. He lifts her into the air, and takes her to present the box to Venus.

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898) 
Cupid Finding Psyche Asleep By a Fountain, c. 1872-1881
Oil on canvas 
Height: 124.5 cm (49.02 in.), Width: 119.5 cm (47.05 in.)
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, United Kingdom

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898), see above

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898) 
Cupid Delivering Psyche, c. 1870
Oil on canvas 
Height: 99.5 cm (39.17 in.), Width: 115.3 cm (45.39 in.)
Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, United Kingdom

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898), see above


Jean Pierre Saint-Ours, (1752 – 1809) 
The Reunion of Cupid and Psyche, circa 1789-1792
Oil on panel
 Height: 35.24 cm (13.88 in.), Width: 49.53 cm (19.5 in.)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, United States

Jean-Pierre Saint-Ours (4 April 1752 – 6 April 1809) was a Swiss painter  born in Geneva, Switzerland. He began studying with his father Jacques (1708–1773) who was himself a renowned painter. He continued his studies in Paris, in 1769, with Joseph-Marie Vien. In 1780, he obtained the Prix de Rome, but was denied a place at the French Academy in Rome, because of nationality issues and he began the journey at his own expense. In 1792, Saint-Ours was forced to return to his homeland due to the events of Revolution.


On 6 April 1809 he died in Geneva. His works may be seen in several museums, including the Louvre, in Paris, and the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire of Geneva. More


Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898) 
Psyche Entering the Portals of Olympus, c. 1872-1881
Oil on canvas 
 Height: 141 cm (55.51 in.), Width: 264 cm (103.94 in.)
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, England

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (1833 –  1898), see anove

He then takes his case to Jupiter, who gives his consent in return for Cupid's future help whenever a choice maiden catches his eye. Jupiter has Mercury convene an assembly of the gods in the theater of heaven, where he makes a public statement of approval, warns Venus to back off, and gives Psyche ambrosia, the drink of immortality, so the couple can be united in marriage as equals. Their union, he says, will redeem Cupid from his history of provoking adultery and sordid liaisons. Jupiter's word is solemnized with a wedding banquet.

Raphael (1483–1520)
Psyche Received on Olympus, c. 1517
Fresco
Villa Farnesina, Rome, Trastevere

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (April 6 or March 28, 1483 – April 6, 1520), known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, and visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.
Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his death at 37, leaving a large body of work. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career. The best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality. He was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking.
After his death, the influence of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th centuries, when Raphael's more serene and harmonious qualities were again regarded as the highest models. His career falls naturally into three phases and three styles, first described by Giorgio Vasari: his early years in Umbria, then a period of about four years (1504–1508) absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates. More

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, (French, 1725 - 1805)
Psyche Crowning Cupid
Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille, France

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, (French, 1725 - 1805). After training in Lyon, Jean-Baptiste Greuze arrived in Paris in 1750, where he sporadically attended the Académie Royale. His 1755 Salon debut was a triumph, but the acclamation turned his head. He antagonized everyone, including fellow artists, which later proved disastrous. 

While retaining the clear, bright colors and lighter attitude of eighteenth-century painting, Greuze introduced a Dutch-influenced realism into French genre painting and portraiture. Through vivid facial expressions and dramatic gestures, Greuze's moralizing paintings exemplified the new idea that painting should relate to life. They captured the details of settings and costumes, "spoke to the heart," educated viewers, and aimed to make them "virtuous." 

In 1769 Académie members refused Greuze membership as a history painter, accepting him only in the lower category of genre, perhaps partly from ill will. Humiliated, he withdrew from public exhibitions completely. During the 1770s Greuze enjoyed a widespread reputation and engravings after his paintings were widely distributed, but his wife embezzled most of the proceeds. By the 1780s, Neoclassicism curtailed his popularity and his quality declined. After enduring poverty and neglect, he died unnoticed, having outlived his time and his reputation. More

Raphael (1483–1520)
Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche, c. 1517
Fresco
Villa Farnesina, Rome, Trastevere


With its happy marriage and resolution of conflicts, the tale ends in the manner of classic comedy or Greek romances such as Daphnis and Chloe. The child born to the couple will be Voluptas, "Pleasure."

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (April 6 or March 28, 1483 – April 6, 1520), see above






Acknowledgement: Sothebys,  Wikipedia

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