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100 CUPID PICTURES | Free Images of Cupid
100 Cupid Pictures and Free Images of Cupid
Get 100 free Cupid pictures from best collection on Web: baby Cupids, Valentine Cupids, & classical myth Cupids (Amor & Eros) with Psyche and Venus (Aphrodite).
Cupid is a mythological character from Greco-Roman times who has endured throughout the centuries and finds a presence in modern Cupid images on Valentine's Day. On this page you will find dozens of free pictures of Cupids which you may use. Just right click on the Cupid picture you want and save it to your computer or print it to use for Valentines.
You'll find Cupid pictures and images in each section below, arranged by Cupid's age. Or, you can just scroll down the page to see all of the Cupid pictures and images.
Baby Cupid Pictures
In classical Roman mythology, Cupid arrives as the winged, newborn child of the goddess Venus, who is considered the mother of the Roman people. He is given the name Cupido, which means desire in Latin, but he is also referred to as Amor (Love). From birth, his destiny is to instill the desire of love with the prick of his arrows. These are popular Cupid Images used for Valentine's Day.
Cupid Untying the Zone of Venus by Reynolds
The Cupid pictures below represent the baby Cupid. The first painting is by English artist Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723 – 1792), a founder of the Royal Academy of Arts and knighted by George III.
This picture is on display at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In this picture, baby Cupid is untying his mother's dress sash. (Zone is the archaic word for belt.)
Venus and Mars with Cupid by Bordone
The identity of Cupid's father is uncertain in mythology. Cupid's father has been identified as Mars, Chaos, Zeus, Vulcan (the Grecian Hephaestus), Aeneas, Mercury, among others.
In the painting below the infant Cupid is depicted between Venus and Mars as their son. The baby Cupid reaches for a piece of fruit held above his head by Mars.
The artist is Italian Renaissance painter Paris Bordone (1500 – 1571) and the image hangs in the Doria Pamphilj Gallery in Rome, Italy.
Venus with Mercury and Cupid by Correggio
Antonio Allegri da Correggio completed an oil on canvas in the 16th century which features Venus and Cupid with Mercury. Mercury appears to be teaching the little Cupid how to read while Venus holds Cupid's bow.
This painting is in the National Gallery in London, England.
Venus, Satyr and Cupid by Correggio
Antonio Allegri da Correggio (1489 – 1534) also painted Cupid and Venus with the Greek Satyr, an odd mixture of Roman and Greek mythical characters. Here, mother and child are asleep under the watchful protection of Satyr, who is holding his characteristic pipe.
The work of art is from the Late Renaissance period and hangs in the Louvre in Paris, France.
Cupid and Venus were the subjects of many images by Italian artist Annibale Carracci (1560 – 1609). The picture below shows the pair with Adonis. This painting is in the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain.
Cupid or Amor
Aphrodite, Eros, and Pan
In Greek mythology, Cupid is known as Eros and his mother Venus is the Grecian Aphrodite.
The marble statue below is circa 100 BCE and depicts the hovering Eros between Aphrodite and Pan.
Aphrodite is refusing Pan's romantic advances, covering herself with one hand and threatening him with her sandal in the other. Eros is defending his mother and takes hold of Pan's horn.
The statue was found on Delos Island with a number of finds of Poseidon worshipers from Beirut, Lebanon. It is now on view in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens in Greece.
Venus and Two Cupids by van Scorel
The Dutch artist Jan van Scorel (1495 – 1562), in Italian Renaissance style, depicts the infant Cupid playfully aiming his bow at his mother Venus in the Cupid picture below.
This painting is oil on panel and is part of the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Venus and Cupid by Cambiaso
Luca Cambiaso (1527 – 1585) was an Italian artist who was commissioned for several lucrative religious assignments in Italy and Spain. His painting below is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Here, the infant Cupid is chattering on his mother's lap and his quiver of arrows rests at Venus' side.
Venus and Cupid by Pellegrini
The picture below is of Cupid and his mother Venus by Italian Rococo artist Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (1675 – 1741). In this painting, the baby Cupid is introduced to the quiver of arrows which will be the focus of his life's mythological mission. Venus is depicted teaching her son the magical mysteries of the arrows while the infant listens intensely.
A person struck by Cupid's arrow is immediately infatuated and falls hopelessly in love with the match made by Cupid.
Venus and Cupid by Sustris
The oil painting below was made by the Dutch artist Lambert Sustris (1515 – 1595). Here, Cupid's quiver of arrows is strapped around his waist and rests on his hips.
This picture recently sold at auction for £10,560 ($17,465).
Venus and Cupid by Cignani
Carlo Cignani (1628 – 1719) was an Italian Baroque painter, popular for his religious works. Here, he depicts Venus with her arm around the infant Cupid. Cupid is holding a pair of white doves. In ancient Rome doves were the common sacrifice to the goddess Venus and are often seen in pictures of her.
Venus is holding Cupid's miniature bow, out of the child's reach.
Cupid by Hoare
British painter William Hoare (1707 – 1792) depicts the baby cupid with his quiver of arrows strapped to his back and holding his bow. This is one of the most endearing images of Cupid.
Gold plated Sterling Silver with Genuine Diamonds
Sleeping Venus and Venus Consoling Love by Boucher
François Boucher (1703–1770) was Rector of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, in Paris, France, and became First Painter of the King.
Venus and Cupid were the subjects of some of his most famous works, and several are featured on this page. The two artworks below have the traditional inclusions of Cupid's quiver of arrows and Venus' white doves.
The first picture sold in 2006 in private auction for £1,128,000 ($2,071,008). Venus Consoling Love is on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Perfect for home and garden
Venus and Amor by Sustris
Below is another painting by Lambert Sustris. This was painted when the artist left Amsterdam and took up residence in Venice, Italy, in 1554.
In the painting, Cupid is practicing with his arrows and he jabs a white male dove who immediately begins mating with the female. A slight prick from Cupid's arrow is all that is needed and this is a critical element as the Cupid myth unfolds.
Cupid's mother, Venus, seems to approve of her son's matchmaking skills.
This picture is on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
Cupid's Target by Boucher
The painting below is another of the many Cupid pictures by François Boucher (1703–1770).
In this picture, Cupid is in the lower right corner of the work, extracting arrows from his quiver. He is target practicing and his target is held aloft by Putti, one of whom holds two myrtle wreaths. The Putti are winged babies, often confused with Cupid himself. But, unlike Cupid, Putti never grow up and they don't have the magic bow and arrow. If you see a winged baby without the bow and arrow, it is a Putto.
In the paintings below, the infant cupid is holding a mirror for the primping of his mother Venus. Narcissistic vanity, which is sometimes a personality trait of beautiful women, is depicted in these pictures as well as the collusion of Cupid.
This scene sets the stage for what follows in the Cupid myth when he reaches adulthood and his mother reaches the peak of her egotism with jealousy over the beautiful Psyche.
(The portrayal of Venus looking in a mirror was the basis of the magic mirror in the popular Grimms' fairy tale, Snow White.)
Venus with a Mirror by Titian
The Italian painter Titian (Tiziano Vecelli (c. 1488 – 1576) painted the next work of art in 1555. He played a significant role in the Venetian school of artists.
In this painting, the infant cupid is holding a mirror for the primping of his mother Venus. Narcissistic vanity, which is sometimes a personality trait of beautiful women, is depicted in the painting as well as the collusion of Cupid. This scene sets the stage for what follows in the Cupid myth as the child matures.
“The poplar is most dear to Alcides, the vine to Bacchus, the myrtle to lovely Venus."
Another child crowns Venus with a myrtle wreath. The myrtle symbolizes love and wreaths of myrtle were used in ancient Greece and Roman to crown the bride and groom on their wedding day. Even today, myrtle is often used in bridal bouquets – the most famous example is the bouquet carried by Katherine Middleton when she married Prince William in 2011.
In the painting below, Venus is clearly in love with herself, which is possibly the reason for the ambiguity surrounding the identity of Cupid's father.
This picture is in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
The Rokeby Venus by Velázquez
The painting below by the Spanish artist Diego Velázquez (1599 –1660) also depicts Venus looking into a mirror held by Cupid.
This work is known by several titles:
- The Rokeby Venus (because it was originally housed in Rokeby Park)
- The Toilet of Venus (from the archaic use of the word toilet which meant grooming)
- Venus at her Mirror
- Venus and Cupid
This painting from the Golden Age of Spain is now displayed in the National Gallery in London, England.
Venus at her Toilet by Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640) was born in Germany but spent most of his life in the Spanish Netherlands. He was appointed as the portrait painter for royalty of Austria and of Spain. His oil on canvas of Venus below hangs in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, Spain. (Toilet is the archaic word for grooming.)
Two paintings by Rubens of Cupid holding the mirror for Venus are shown below.
In the first Cupid picture, notice the bow and arrow at Cupid's feet. There is a foreboding symbolism in the fact that he has cast them aside to hold the mirror for his mother.
Venus and Cupid by Lotto
The next painting is by the Italian Lorenzo Lotto (1480 –1556). Art historians see wedding symbols depicted, such as the bridal tiara worn by Venus, the wedding canopy and the myrtle wreath.
In an odd contrast, the toddler Cupid – with his bow slung over his shoulder – is being potty trained (improving his aim, one might deduce) by urinating through the myrtle wreath held by his mother Venus.
This painting is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Time Clipping Cupid's Wings by Mignard
In Roman custom, the mythical Saturn was honored with a week-long feast celebration called the Saturnalia. This celebration included merriment and gift-giving, especially toys for children. The festivities were enjoyed December 17 – 23 by the Julian calendar. Since the festival included the day of the Winter Solstice, Saturn became associated with time and the new year, and the icon is carried forward today as Father Time.
In the painting below by the French Pierre Mignard (1610 – 1695), Time (Saturn) is trimming the squirming Cupid's wings. Time's large scythe lies on the floor and his hourglass for keeping time is in the lower right corner. Cupid's little bow and quiver of arrows are in the lower left of the painting.
This image from the Baroque art movement is found in the Denver Art Museum in Colorado.
The idylls of Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus : and the war-songs of Tyrtæus
IDYLL XIX,The Stealer of Honeycombs
The naughty bee once stung the pilferer Eros,
as he was plundering a comb from the hives,
and pierced all the tips of his fingers;
and he began to lament and blow his hand;
and struck the earth, and leaped aloft.
Then showed he his pain to Aphrodite,
and began to complain
"that at any rate the bee is a little creature,
and yet what great wounds it inflicts!"
And his mother smiling said —
"How then? Are you not a creature resembling the bees?
Since little though you be,
yet the wounds you inflict,
how great are they!"
Cupid Complaining to Venus by Cranach
The painting below is from the German Renaissance artist Lucas Cranach (1472 – 1553). This painting represents one of the myths about Cupid's childhood. In the tale, Cupid finds a honeycomb in the hollow of an apple tree. Reaching to retrieve it, he is stung by bees and cries to his mother Venus.
The story was retold by 3rd century Greek Poet Theocritus, using the Greek counterparts, Aphrodite and Eros.
Cranach's picture contains this inscription, which is based on Theocritus' poem:
'Life's pleasure is mixed with pain.'
The lesson for the toddler Cupid is that his little arrows bring the sweetness of love but love can also sting just like the bees.
In the painting, Venus, forever the narcissist, ignores her child's tears and misery while a stag and his mate watch them from behind the tree.
Pablo Picasso was so taken with this painting that he created his own version in 1967 using the same title: Cupid Complaining to Venus.
Cranach's painting below now hangs in the National Gallery in London England. There is a short video below the picture which gives added insight into this famous artwork.
"Young men's love then lies / Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes."
"Love to faults is always blind, always is to joy inclined."
"Love looks not with the eyes. But with the mind. Therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."
– Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
Child Cupid Pictures
Cupid is sometimes shown with a blindfold, hence the phrase 'love is blind.' To some, it symbolizes that love is blind to all faults. To others, it symbolizes that visual passion blinds one's reason.
The blindfolded Cupid arrived well after the fall of the Roman Empire and was often used in Shakespeare's imagery.
Venus Blindfolding Cupid by Titian
The picture below is of a painting by the Italian Titian (Tiziano Vecelli, 1488 – 1576). It is displayed at the Galleria Borghese in Rome, Italy.
Cupid Blindfolded by dell'Abate
Several frescos by Nicolò dell'Abate (1512 – 1571) were found during the restoration of the Fortress of Bolardo in Scandiano, Italy.
The fresco below is one such find. It has been preserved and is now at the Basilica of San Francesco in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy.
Amore Incocca l'Arco (Amor Placing Arrow in Bow) by dell'Abate
Nicolò dell'Abate (1512 –1571) was one of the Italian painters who introduced the Italian Renaissance to the French and was among the School of Fontainebleau artists.
Two of his paintings of Cupid appear below.
Venus and Cupid by Nicolò
In this Nicolò dell'Abate painting, Cupid shows his mischievous side and is cautioned by his reclining mother, Venus.
Fresco of Cupid by Carracci
Annibale Carracci (1560 1609) was an Italian artist and a member of the Painting School of Bologna. His restored fresco of Cupid, below, is in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome, Italy. Cupid is on the right holding a golden arrow and is up to some mischief with his Putto playmate.
Venus and Cupid by Allori
Alessandro di Cristofano di Lorenzo del Bronzino Allori (1535–1607) was an an Italian painter who specialized in portraits. The image below shows the delinquent Cupid having his bow confiscated by his mother Venus. It appears in a panel from the late 16th century.
A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros by Bouguereau
William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905) was a prolific French painter who developed a following among wealthy art lovers. He produced hundreds if not thousands of paintings in his lifetime. Cupids were a popular subject of his work as well as the Cupid-like Putti. The Putti and Cupid merged as images in the 1800's, and, absent a bow or an arrow, are indistinguishable.
Many of Bouguereau's Cupids are featured in this webpage collection. In the painting below, Cupid tries to use his arrow of love on an unwilling maiden.
This painting is displayed at Kenan House in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Cupid and Psyche by Bouguereau
The two paintings below by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905) depict Cupid and Psyche as children. Psyche is always depicted with butterfly wings and she is sometimes simply implied in Cupid paintings as a butterfly. Though there is no myth about Cupid and Psyche meeting in childhood, the painter creates a new story for the mythological couple.
The name Psyche means soul. She indeed becomes Cupid's soul mate and, together, they are the soul and the essence of love.
Through a long sequence of mythical events, she eventually becomes Cupid's wife.
L'Amour au Papillon (Cupid with a Butterfly)
In the Bouguereau below, Cupid carefully captures a butterfly. The butterfly represents his future bride, Psyche. Notice his quiver of arrows resting on the fountain's bench.
Venus and Cupid by Etty
The painting below is by the British painter William Etty (1787 – 1849). He is most famous for his depictions of nudes.
The picture shows the growing child Cupid with his mother in a landscape setting.
Venus and Cupid by Solomon
Solomon Joseph Solomon (1860 – 1927) was a member of the English Royal Academy. He was also an established businessman and developed camouflage netting used in World War I.
The painting shows Cupid sitting in his mother's lap, aiming his golden arrow in a golden bow.
Wounded Love by Bouguereau
The William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905) painting of Cupid below shows him with a childhood injury, representing wounded love. Here, Cupid is soothed by his Mother Venus.
Cupid with a Thorn by Bouguereau
In the William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905) painting below, the growing Cupid puts down his bow and quiver to take care of his own childhood injury without running to his mother.
Cupid by Etty
William Etty (1787 – 1849) was an English artist who gained recognition primarily for his paintings of nudes. In his picture below, the maturing Cupid is captured in a portrait with his bow and arrow.
Cupid's Arrows by Perrault
The Cupid portrait below is by French painter Léon Bazille Perrault (1832 – 1908). He developed a reputation for his paintings of children.
Cupid in a Landscape by Bazzi
This portrait of Cupid is by the Italian Renaissance painter Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, known as II Sodoma (1477 – 1549).
The painting is in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Love Takes Flight by Bouguereau
In William-Adolphe Bouguereau's (1825 – 1905) painting below, Cupid has honed his skill and his golden arrow finds a grateful recipient.
Many teenage Cupid pictures represent the youth alone, coming into his independence.
However, he is also depicted in adoration of his mother, Venus. Until he finds a true love of his own, his female companion is always his mother.
The terracotta wine jug in the picture at the right is an example. Here, Cupid is shown with a serving tray, waiting on Venus. This artifact is on display in the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Venus and Cupid by De Morgan
Evelyn De Morgan (1855 – 1919) was a British painter who studied for a time in Italy. The classics were often her subjects. The painting below shows the youth Cupid, still close to his mother Venus. Here, Cupid is without his characteristic bow and arrow.
Amor Vincit Omnia (Love Conquers All) by Caravaggio
In English, this painting is known as Love Conquers All, but is sometimes called Love Triumphant, Love Victorious or Earthly Love.
It portrays a dashing, confident Cupid, as well as a teenage prankster with musical instruments and sheet music in a pile on the floor. In this painting, Cupid has fully plumed eagle's wings and proudly holds large arrows in his hand. His cheeks are red with the blush of youth.
The artist is Caravaggio (1571-1610), an Italian from the Baroque Era. The painting is housed at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, Germany.
Sacred Love Versus Profane Love by Baglione
When Caravaggio completed his painting Amor Vincit Omnia (above), contemporary painter Giovanni Baglione (1566 – 1643) was commissioned to paint Sacred Love Versus Profane Love. When Baglione's painting was competed, Caravaggio bitterly accused him of plagiarism and the two became arch rivals. The same color palette is used in the paintings and the facial characteristics are quite similar.
Baglione's painting depicts Cupid heroically rescuing a boy from Lucifer. The work is on display in the Gemälde Gallery of the Staatliche Museum in Berlin, Germany.
Eros Bending His Bow by Lysippos
The picture below shows a Roman marble statue of the teenage Cupid. This statue is a recreation of a Grecian statue from the second century CE by Lysippos. It is housed at the Capitoline Museum, Palazzo Nuovo (New Palace), in Rome, Italy.
Cupid (Amor) by Liss
Johann Liss (circa 1597 – 1631) was a German artist who lived and worked in Italy. He is known for his religious and mythological paintings and his vibrant use of color. The painting below, one of his last works, is displayed at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. The portrait is of Cupid and his iconic arrow.
Eros by Paelinck
Joseph Paelinck (1781 – 1839) was a painter from the Netherlands who studied art for several years in Paris and in Rome. His art studies were largely financed by the community of Ghent and he is one of its most honored native sons.
The painting of the adolescent Cupid below hangs in the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium.
Wet Cupid by Bouguereau
William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905) is the creator of the painting below, which is one of his most well-known Cupids. In this painting, the youth was caught in the rain. He is obviously cold and his wings are drooping and wet.
The painting is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in La Rochelle, France.
Love on the Look Out by Bouguereau
Below is another painting of the youthful Cupid by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905). In this painting, Cupid has loaded an arrow in his golden bow and he is looking for a target.
Le Captif (The Prisoner or The Captured) by Bouguereau
As puberty has aroused Cupid's own interest in love, this painting depicts his fascination with a captured butterfly which he holds aloft as an unobtainable ideal. The butterfly, of course, represents Psyche, whom he has yet to meet. Cupid is mesmerized by the butterfly and his eyes are full of tender wonderment. This painting is another by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905).
Cupid by Chaudet
Antoine-Louis Chaudet (1763 - 1810) was a master sculptor and professor at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts) in Paris, France.
His marble sculptor of Cupid below was created between 1802 and 1807. Cupid is carefully holding a butterfly's wings, symbolizing the future capture of Psyche. It is displayed at the Louvre in Paris, France.
Cupid and Psyche Pictures
The myth of Cupid and Psyche has inspired some of the world's most famous art since the fourth century BCE. It is the tale of the original sleeping princess, a sleeping beauty.
In the second century CE, Apuleius wrote a novel in Latin which embellished the myth and fused the Roman Venus with the Grecian Aphrodite. In his story, Psyche – a mere mortal but a king's daughter – is praised as the most beautiful woman in the world.
Psyche is adored by the populace to the point of worship. Venus is enraged with jealousy over the attention given to the maiden.
Psyche Honoured by the People by Giordano
Italian artist Luca Giordano (1634 – 1705) created an oil on copper painting depicting the adoration of the beautiful Psyche.
This picture is part of Windsor Castle's Royal Collection in London, England.
Unseen he still remained, enchanted and amazed.
The dart which in his hand now trembling stood,
As o'er the couch he bent with ravished eye,
Drew with its daring point celestial blood
From his smooth neck's unblemished ivory.
– from Cupid and Psyche by Mary Tighe, 1805
The worship of the lovely Psyche raises the ire of the narcissistic Aphrodite. Aphrodite instructs her son Cupid to aim an arrow at Psyche to have her fall in love with a monster.
Cupid, who knows nothing about Psyche, agrees to his mother's wishes and finds the sleeping-beauty Psyche. He is so captivated with her that he accidentally scratches himself with his arrow and falls hopelessly in love with her.
Cupid and Psyche by David
Jacques-Louis David (1748 – 1825) captured this moment in his famous painting below. Here, Cupid appears to be intoxicated with the arrow's potion as he views the sleeping princess he was sent to harm.
Eros and Psyche by Picot
The French artist François-Edouard Picot (1786 – 1868) also painted the scene of Cupid's first encounter with the sleeping Psyche. In this work, Cupid is reaching for his quiver of arrows, ready to do his mother's bidding. This painting is displayed at the Cleveland Museum of Art, in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Cupid and Psyche by Brocyy
Károly Brocky (1808 - 1855) was an Hungarian artist who studied in Paris and in London. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in London, England. In his painting below, Cupid arrives, bow in hand, at the bed of the sleeping Psyche.
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In the Greek myth, Psyche, who knows nothing of the encounter with Cupid, is unable to focus on finding a suitable husband because of Aphrodite's displeasure with her. Her royal parents consult a god who informs them that Psyche's destiny is to marry a monster. They convey the bitter prophecy to their daughter, who accepts her fate. She is led to a mountain to meet her betrothed monster. She is only allowed to meet with him at night when it is dark and he cannot be seen.
Instead of a monster, it is Cupid who visits her every night. He persuades Psyche to trust in their love even though she cannot see his face. Psyche's sisters convince her that her intended really is a monster. So, one night, she holds a lamp to see his face.
Amor and Psyche by Zucchi
Italian artist Jacopo Zucchi (1541 –1590) captures this moment in his painting below.
Psyche Discovering Love by Giordano
Luca Giordano (1634 – 1705) was born in Italy but found assignments in Spain under his patron Charles II. His works are identified with the Baroque Movement.
Cupid and Psyche by Katari
The statue below is believed to be the work of Giulio Katari and is from the late 17th century. It is in the Summer Garden in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
The statue depicts the moment Psyche discovers Cupid when she holds a lamp aloft in her left hand while uncovering his face with the other.
Cupid and Psyche by Delaistre
François-Nicolas Delaistre (1746 – 1832) was a Parisian sculptor known primarily for his religious commissions. The marble statue below can been seen in the Louvre in Paris, France.
In the work, Psyche is holding a lamp, revealing the identity of the sleeping Cupid.
Amor and Psyche by Crespi
The moment Psyche discovers Cupid is also the focus of the painting below by the Italian Giuseppe Crespi (1665 –1747). In this picture, Cupid's face is in shadow and is barely discernible. He extends his right hand in protest against the violation of trust that was between them.
Psyche Surprises Amor Asleep by Lagrenée
This is another painting by the French artist Louis-Jean-Francois Lagrenée (1724–1805). The original hangs in the Louvre in Paris, France.
Cupid and Psyche by Regnault
Jean-Baptiste Regnault (1754 – 1829) was a Frenchman who often painted scenes from Greco-Roman mythology. In the picture below, notice that Cupid's quiver of arrows rests on the table in the left side of the painting.
Cupid and Psyche by Etty
William Etty (1787 – 1849) also captured the famous scene in his oil on canvas pictured below. In this interpretation, Psyche is obviously pleased with what she has found under the light of her lamp.
Psyche Enamoured of Cupid by John Wood
John Wood (1801 –1870) was a British portrait painter. His painting below is of the moment Psyche discovers Cupid, holding a lamp high in her right hand. The picture is housed at the Leeds Art Gallery, West Yorkshire, England.
Cupid and Psyche by Jameson
Middleton Alexander Jameson (1851 – 1919) was a Scotsman who lived in London toward the end of his life. His is known for his landscapes and portraits.
The painting below was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1899. It is now in a private collection. Psyche is portrayed with her characteristic butterfly wings and she is holding a light to view the sleeping Cupid.
In the tale of intrigue which follows Psyche's betrayal of her promise to Cupid, he flies away and leaves her heartbroken.
Psyche Abandoned by Love by Dossi
Dosso Dossi (1490 – 1542) is the signature name used by Giovanni di Niccolò de Luteri. He was an Italian Renaissance painter who was well-known for his depictions of classical Greek mythology. The painting below is one of 6,000 works owned and displayed in the UniCredit Art Collection in Milan, Italy.
Love (Amor) Abandons Psyche by Giordano
Below is another painting by the Italian Luca Giordano (1634 – 1705). This picture depicts Cupid leaving Psyche; she appears to be pleading with him to stay.
Psyche seeks forgiveness from Cupid's mother, Venus (Aphrodite). Cupid's jealous mother gives her a series of tasks to complete. Upon finishing the last task, Psyche opens a box which casts a sleeping spell on her. She collapses on the side of the road, unconscious.
She is discovered by Cupid, who still loves her deeply. Psyche is frozen in sleep and cannot awaken.
Amor and Psyche by van Dyck
Anthony van Dyck (1599 –1641) was a painter from the Spanish Netherlands who was hired to paint the royal family in England under the reign of Charles I.
Below is his painting of Cupid's discovery of the sleeping Psyche. It is housed in the Royal Collection, London, England.
Amor and Psyche by Kauffman
Angelica Kauffman (1741 – 1807), was born in Switzerland but developed as an artist in London and Rome. She was an original member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. This is her portrayal of Cupid finding the sleeping Psyche:
Amor and Psyche by Füssli
Johann Heinrich Füssli (1741 – 1825) was from Switzerland but he spent most of his life in England and was a professor in the Royal Academy. In his painting below, Amor (Cupid) holds the lifeless Psyche in his arms.
As the myth continues, when Cupid found his beloved fallen asleep, he pricks her with an arrow but she remains fast asleep. Because of the arrow, she will fall in love with the first one she sees when she awakens.
Cupid Wakens Psyche by Gagneraux
The painting below by Bénigne Gagneraux (1756-1795) has an odd title. In the classical myth, Psyche does not wake up with the arrow prick.
Cupid Finding Psyche by Burne-Jones
Edward Burne-Jones (1833 – 1898) was a British artist who produced the story of Cupid and Psych in several paintings at the behest of the Earl of Carlisle. He was also hired to produce dozens of illustrations for a set of books, Earthly Paradise, by William Morris. The picture below is a watercolor which appeared in one of the Morris volumes, depicting the moment Cupid finds the Psyche inflicted with the sleeping spell.
Cupid and Psyche by Legros
Alphonse Legros (1837 – 1911) was a French artist who became a British citizen at the age of 44. His painting of Cupid approaching the sleeping Psyche with his arrow ready is shown below. It is housed at Tate Gallery in London, England.
Eros and Psyche by French School
The same scene is found in the picture below by an unknown painter of the French School.
As the myth unfolds, when Cupid was unable to awaken his beloved, he carries her aloft to the heavens where he petitions for the release of the sleeping spell and for permission to marry the mortal maiden.
Sleeping Psyche by Palloni
Michelangelo Palloni (1637 –1712) was an Italian painter who was commissioned by King John III Sobieski to create a series of frescos representing the history of Psyche at the Wilanów Palace in Warsaw, Poland, in 1674.
The picture below is Palloni's fresco of the sleeping Psyche carried up to the heavens.
Psyche Transported to Heaven by Prud'hon
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (1758 – 1823) was a French painter who was commissioned by both of Napoleon's wives to paint their portraits. The picture below is Prud'hon's interpretation of Cupid taking Psyche into the heavens. This painting is on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
Cupid and Psyche by Clodion
Claude Michel, known as Clodion, (1738 – 1814) was a French sculptor who had clients in France and in Russia. His statue pictured below represents Cupid transporting the sleeping Psyche with the assistance of Putti.
Psyche and Cupid by Bouguereau
William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905) painted several paintings showing Cupid carrying the sleeping Psyche into the heavens. Three of these are featured below.
Notice the butterfly wings on the sleeping princess and the absence of the bow on Cupid.
The first picture is displayed in The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart, Tasmania, and is described by the museum's curator in the video to the right.
The Love of Psyche by Médard
Eugène Médard (1847 – 1887) was a French artist and a friend and devotee of fellow-artist Henri Regnault. He fought beside Regnault as a comrade of arms in the Franco-Prussian War. Regnault fell in the war and was memorialized by a group of artists, led by Médard.
Médard's painting below represents Psyche carried to the Heavens by Psyche. The painting sold to a private collector in a Sotheby's auction in 1994.
In the heavenly abode of the gods on Mt. Olympus, the sleeping spell is broken and Psyche awakens at Cupid's kiss. This kiss is one of the most famous in history and has been the subject of art throughout the centuries.
Statue of Cupid and Psyche
The statue below is a replica of an original 2nd century BCE marble statue from Greece.
Eros and Psyche Roman Fresco
In 1748, archaeological ruins were discovered in Pompeii, Italy, which had been covered with ash since the eruption of the Mt. Vesuvius volcano in 79 CE. One of the frescos discovered in an ancient mansion is the kiss of Cupid which awakens the sleeping Psyche. Today it is in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy.
Amor and Psyche by Lagrenée
Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée (1724–1805) was born in France and became the director of the French Academy in Rome. The story of Cupid and Psyche was often a subject of his paintings. Two of his pictures appear below.
Cupid and Psyche by West
Benjamin West (1738 – 1820) was born in the English Colony of Pennsylvania but moved to England in 1753. He become president of the Royal Academy in London.
West's painting of the kiss of Cupid and Psyche is in the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss by Canova
Antonio Canova (1757 – 1822) was an Italian sculptor and painter. One of his most famous pieces replicates the moment Psyche is awakened from her induced sleep by Cupid's kiss.
This work in marble is on display at the Louvre in Paris, France.
A second version of the statue, made by Canova himself, is displayed at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Own your own copy of this famous work of art - marble finish.
Cupid and Psyche by Landi
Italian painter Gaspare Landi (1756 – 1830) completed an oil on canvas based upon Antonio Canova's marble statue. It is pictured below and is displayed at Museo Correr, a museum in Venice, Italy.
Psyche Receiving Cupid's First Kiss by Gérard
François Pascal Simon (1770 – 1837) was an Italian painter who studied and worked in France. He became a favorite portraiture artist and received numerous awards for his work.
Notice the butterfly floating above the couple in his painting below.
Cupid and Psyche by Swynnerton
Annie Louisa Robinson Swynnerton (1844 – 1933) was an English painter who studied in France and later in Italy, where she lived with her husband, an Italian sculptor. She was a member of the Royal Academy and founded the Manchester Society of Women Painters.
On Mount Olympus, Psyche is given a cup of ambrosia which makes her immortal and she is free to marry Cupid.
Statue of Amor and Psyche by Thorvaldsen
Karl Albert Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770 – 1844) was a Danish sculptor who spent most of his life working in Italy. His statue below is in the museum named for him and dedicated exclusively to his work in Copenhagen, Denmark. The statue shows the couple peering into the cup of ambrosia.
Amor and Psyche by Canova
Antonio Canova (1757 – 1822) was the Italian artist most well-known for his statue (above) of the mythological couple's famous kiss. But Canova was also an accomplished painter. The oil on canvas below shows Cupid passing the golden cup of ambrosia to his beloved. The painting hangs in the Hans Gallery in Hamburg, Germany.
"Celestial Cupid, her [Venus'] famed son, advanced,
Holds his dear Psyche sweet entranced,
After her wandering labours long,
Till free consent the gods among
Make her his eternal bride ...
And she became Love's angel bride in heaven!"
– from Comus by John Milton, 1634
The Wedding of Cupid and Psyche
Now immortal, Psyche becomes the bride of Cupid in a lavish wedding and feast on Mount Olympus. Zeus presides at the marriage.
The Marriage of Psyche and Amor by Boucher
François Boucher (1703–1770) completes his portfolio of Cupid and Psyche paintings with a depiction of the wedding of the couple. The picture below is displayed at the Louvre in Paris, France.
Cupid and Psyche in the Nuptial Bower by Hamilton
Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740 – 1808) was an Irishman who lived and worked in both London and Rome. His is well known for his unusual techniques in mixing and applying color to his canvases. Below, he represents Cupid and Psyche under a traditional wedding canopy. Cupid's bow and quiver are resting beside him. Notice the delicate, gossamer butterfly wings on Psyche.
The Wedding Feast of Amor and Psyche by Romano
Giulio Romano (1499 – 1546) was an Italian architect and painter. His masterpiece is the Palazzo del The in Mantua, Italy. The design is his, as well as many of the frescos which adorn the palace.
One series of his frescos depicts the myth of Cupid and Psych. The picture below is the fresco of the wedding banquet of the couple. In the center is the table of Jupiter. In the detail at the right is the bride and groom from the lower right corner of the fresco.
The little girl above them is their child, Voluptas. Her name means pleasure. To the Greeks, the child is known as Hedone (the basis of the English word hedonism).
Eros and Psyche by dell'Abate
This is the fourth Nicolò dell'Abate (1512 – 1571) painting in this collection. Here, dell'Abate paints the final scene in the story of Cupid (Eros) and Psyche. The couple is reclining in their bridal chamber at the wedding feast.
Valentine's Day Cupids
On Picadilly Circus (Circle) – a landmark street intersection in Westminster, England – a winged archer crowns the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, aiming his golden arrows of love.
The monument was erected in 1819 in honor of the loving charitable work of Antony Ashley Cooper, the seventh Earl of Shaftesbury.
Cooper was also known as an early advocate of a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. The moment itself was designed to represent universal acts 'Christian charity' and its official name is 'The Angel of Christian Charity.'
The striking figure is known the world over as Eros, and is the world's first aluminum statue. (The figure is actually supposed to represent a mythological brother of Cupid, known to the Greeks as Anteros. But, never mind that detail.) To the world's eye, Eros/Cupid will always represent love to the world with his golden arrows striking the hearts of the unsuspecting.
The image of Cupid, enduring for millennia, is the icon of the modern Valentine's Day.
To Western civilization, he represents falling in love and love at first sight – the mystical and the whimsical – and all that entails.
Cupid is one of few enduring, cultural icons.
Find a place in your home for the love that Cupid brings. This hand-finished, mini-statue makes a wonderful gift, too!
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