RAFFAELLO Sanzio
(b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma)

The Council of Gods

1517-18
Fresco
Villa Farnesina, Rome

The myth of Cupid and Psyche is depicted on the loggia of Agostino Chigi's villa. Cupid fell in love with the daughter of a king, but had to remain unrecognized by her, and so came to her only at night. After Psyche had undergone many difficult trials, Zeus made her immortal, and allowed her to marry Cupid. The unusual subject seems to be a reference to the much yearned for marriage between Chigi and Francesca Ordeaschi, with whom he already had four children. The ceremony took place on 28 August 1519.