A tale as old as time, written in Latin in the book called The Golden Ass, Cupid and Psyche’s love story is set in stone. It is a simple story, really. I will tell you the story line as simply as I can:
Venus, the goddess of love, grew jealous of Psyche. Venus looked into her mirror and asked, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” (Just making a parallel to the Grimms’ Snow White.)
The Mirror said, to Venus’ horror, “Not you! It is Psyche! Your ID should have told you that! Why do you bother me with this!”
Venus threw out her mirror which was found later by an evil witch. Anyways, the humans started to compare Psyche to her. “Princess Psyche is as pretty as Venus!”, “What I would do to be with Psyche!”, “I had a dream of Psyche last night!”, “Look at her glowing young, pure, bright human face!”, and “Shh, we’re near the Temple, you idiot!” Venus cursed these people with AIDs, and then turned her fury to Princess Psyche.
Venus gave her son Cupid the task of shooting Psyche with he golden arrows to make her fall in love with some awful, stinky, ugly, horrible, terrible creature. Cupid, a young man at the time, agreed to do his mother’s will. Thus, one night he climbed, invisible, into Psyche’s sleeping chamber. Psyche slept with her hair spread out on the pillow and dew drops in her eye lashes. She kept her windows open on the warm nights, and the curtains billowed in the wind. Cupid drew his bow and arrows. He pointed the arrow at her heart, but the golden bow and arrow flashed in the moon light. Psyche awoke suddenly. Although Cupid was invisible, Psyche looked him in the eyes without seeing him. Cupid lower his bow keeping his eyes on her’s. He pricked himself with his arrow. He fell in love with Psyche. He flow off in the night, ashamed, but in love.
Because of this failure from her son, Venus decided to curse Psyche. Venus made it so that Psyche could not find a husband. Cupid depressed from watching his love, Psyche, in pain, shot no more arrows. The world of humans grew old. The days of good old sex was gone, and no babies were made for the humans. Soon, Venus’ Temple became dusty. Venus too lazy to dust her own temple told her son to marry Psyche, but Psyche was to never see Cupid. He was to make to her invisibly.
Lets just say, Psyche was ok with a few dark nights, but her evil, ugly sisters made her curious. So, one night she turned the lights on. Oh my, she found a god with wings in her bed. “Oh, my Zeus!” she cried, and with this cry Cupid flow away. Thus, Psyche made her marriage null unless she did a few chores for Venus. Psyche dusts Venus’ Temple and risks her life to get golden sheep wool. Finally, Psyche has to make a visit to Proserpina, Queen of the Underworld. Psyche almost kills herself to get there, but a tower (yeah, a building) gives her directions. After a nice visit, Psyche gets a box of her own beauty to give to Venus.
On the way back, Psyche, being a woman, opens the box. The box was really a music box that made Psyche fall asleep. She is quickly falling into the sleep of death. Suddenly, Cupid realizes that his mother is a mean, awful goddess. He flies to Psyche and wakes her up with a kiss. Together, they go to Zeus and begs to make Psyche a goddess! Zeus agrees; Psyche drinks Magic Potion n.9. She glows and POP! SPARKLE! She has butterfly wings to fly with her love!
Venus and Psyche make up. The End.
Credit to my Psychological Teacher, Wiki for filling in the details, and my sleepy head’s creativity.
Anyways, my real point is to introduce you to Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss by Antonio Canova. As a result of my story telling, the name of the masterpiece is understandable.
“She is quickly falling into the sleep of death. Suddenly, Cupid realizes that his mother is a mean, awful goddess. He flies to Psyche and wakes her up with a kiss.”
I learned in my Art History class that you can never understand a piece of work till you know the back story -which I’ve kindly wrote for you, and see the full details in person. There is a magic when you see details with you eye. For me, it is a connection with the real art, my eye, and my brain. I learn so much by just being in the present of art.
But sadly, not everyone can rush to the Louvre to view Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss by Antonio Canova. So, I took pictures of my favorite details.
For my family, friends, fans, artists, and lovers: