(b. 1634, Napoli, d. 1705, Napoli)

Venus Punishing Psyche with a Task (?)

Oil on copper, 58,1 x 68,9 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor

Venus punishing Psyche with a Task (?) was previously interpreted as Psyche visited by her Sisters, but Sir Michael Levey argues that the scene is more accurately identified as Venus setting Psyche a task in the attempt to find Cupid. The task in question may be that of procuring a flask of water from a stream running beneath a high mountain. Venus is the lightly clad figure in the middle pointing towards Psyche, whose own gesture indicates the mountain in the background. As such this scene is the last of those in the present series.