CANOVA, Antonio
(b. 1757, Possagno, d. 1822, Venezia)

Cupid and Psyche

Marble, height 137 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

At the request of Prince Nikolai Yusupov, a great admirer of his work, Canova repeated with minor alterations the sculpture that he created in 1787 (now in the Louvre). The theme might be said to be beauty awakened by love. It presents the moment when Cupid's kiss revives his beloved from the death-like sleep into which she fell after opening the vessel containing the elixir of beauty that Aphrodite had her fetch from the realm of the dead.