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

Venus and Cupid

Villa Farnesina, Rome

Raphael's pictorial narrative in the Loggia di Psiche begins in the spandrels of the short side on the left as one enters and continues along the spandrels to the right to the second short side and then along the entrance side. These triangular surfaces represented a problematic format for artists. Raphael solved this challenge in ever new and surprising ways, causing the form of the painting's support and the composition of its figures to interact in particularly fortuitous and varied manners. In the broad space of the first spandrel Venus and her son are affectionately close together. Jealous, the mother is pointing downward, where Psyche is being admired by mortals for her beauty.

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