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Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss
L'Amour et Psyché, François-Édouard Picot, 1817.
Cupid and Psyche, 2nd century C.E.
Psyche and Amor / Psyche Receiving Cupid's First Kiss, Francois Gerard, 1798.
Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss, Antoio Canova, 1787. (photo by Eric Pouhier)

 

 

A long time ago there was a king who had three beautiful daughters, but the youngest, Psyche, was the fairest of them all. She was so beautiful that people began to neglect Venus, who grew jealous and asked her son Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with a horrible monster. When he saw how beautiful she was, Cupid dropped the arrow meant for her, pricked himself and fell in love with her. Despite her beauty, no one wanted to marry her. Her father consulted an oracle, and when he found out she was destined to marry a monster he took her to a mountain and left her there to be married. One night her husband visited her and told her that he would always visit her at night and she must never try to see him. Other than that he treated her with love and care but Psyche soon grew homesick and persuaded her husband to allow her sisters to visit her.
Upon seeing her luxurious life her sisters became jealous so they told her that her husband was a monster. The next night Psyche took a lamp and the light showed her sleeping husband’s face - it was Cupid. She was so surprised that she accidentally woke him up and he disappeared. Psyche roamed about looking for her husband, and eventually in desperation approached his mother Venus. The goddess, who hated Psyche, set various tasks for her - all of which she passed with a bit of help from ants and river gods. At last Cupid found out what was going on, and he persuaded Jupiter to order Venus to stop her persecution of Psyche. Then they were married and lived happily ever after - and it really was ever after since Psyche was made an immortal goddess.