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Beautiful oil on canvas, early eighteenth century representing "Psyche discovering the face of Cupid".
This popular theme was also taken up by Pierre Paul Rubens, Lagrenée and Jacopo Zucchi.

Cupid has forbidden Psyche to see his face, although he shares his bed every night. Fearing to have in her bed a monster, one night she transgresses the forbidden and approaches her lover 's face with her oil lamp.
In the emotion facing the divine face, Psyche drops a drop of oil on Cupid who awakens and leaves her.
From this episode will be born the long journey of Psyche, which could pass that of Hercules for a summer camp.

The painting of Lagrenée said the elder, Louis Jean François, is part of the decoration of the King’s Bedroom, in the de Belle-Vue Castle.

Here is the original text of Apuleius' "Love and Psyche", describing this scene:

“She advances the lamp, grabs her dagger. Goodbye the shyness of her sex. But at the moment the layer lights up, and here are its mysteries in the open. Psyche sees (what a spectacle!) the most lovable of monsters and the most private, Cupid himself, this charming god, asleep in the most seductive attitude. At the same moment the flame of the lamp expands and sparkles, and the sacrilegious iron shines with a new brightness. Psyche remains appalled at this sight, and as if deprived of her senses. She pales, she trembles, she falls to her knees. To better hide her iron, she wants to plunge it into her bosom; and the effect would have followed the intention, if the dagger, as if afraid to be an accomplice of the attack, had not suddenly escaped from her lost hand. She gives herself up to despair; yet she looks, and still looks at the marvellous features of this divine figure, and feels like she is reborn to this contemplation. She admires this radiant head, this halo of blonde hair from which exudes a perfume of ambrosia, this white neck like milk, these purpurine cheeks framed with golden curls which are shared gracefully on this beautiful forehead, or are arranged behind the head, and whose dazzling brightness makes the light of the lamp pale. At the shoulders of the flying god seem to grow two small wings, of a nuanced whiteness of the incarnate heart of a rose. In inaction itself, we see their delicate end throbbing, which never rests. All the rest of the body joins with the most united white the happiest proportions. The goddess of beauty can be proud of the fruit she has borne.
At the foot of the bed lay the bow, quiver and arrows, insignia of the most powerful of the gods. The curious Psyche never tires of seeing, touching, admiring in ecstasy the formidable weapons of her husband. She pulls an arrow from the quiver, and, to try to temper it, she presses the tip of it on her thumb; but her hand, which trembles while holding the line, prints at the point an involuntary impulse. The sting begins the epidermis, and makes a few drops of pink blood flow. Thus, without suspecting it, Psyche made herself in love with Love. More and more in love with him by whom one falls in love, she leans on him with her mouth open, and devours him with her ardent kisses. She only fears that the sleeper will wake up too soon.
But while drunk of her happiness, she forgets herself in these too soft transports, the lamp, or perfidious, or jealous, or (what do I know?) impatient to touch also this body so beautiful, to kiss it, if I dare say, in turn, pour from his luminous hearth a drop of boiling oil on the right shoulder of the god. O clumsy and reckless lamp! O too unworthy minister of loves! must it be that through you the god who sets the fire everywhere also knows the burn! by you, who were probably due to the genius of some lover jealous of darkness, and who wanted to dispute the presence of the beloved object!

The burnt god wakes up with a start. He sees the secret betrayed, the faith violated, and, without saying a single word, he will run away from the glances and kisses of his unfortunate wife.”


Very good condition, original canvas .

An old small restoration.


The traces visible in the photos are due to the reflections of the light, the oil on canvas is in perfect condition.


First half of the 18th century.

Oil on canvas early eighteenth: Psyche discovering Cupid.


    With: 32,7 inches

    Height: 26,8 inches


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