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

Psyche Brings a Vessel up to Venus

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 spandrel Psyche, borne by putti, fulfills one of the tasks that are her punishment, bringing a vessel up to Venus. This figural group seems to float freely in space.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.