Canova’s Cupid and Psyche at the Hermitage

Canova, Amore e Psiche, Ermitage – Cupid and Psyche, Hermitage

Veneto-born sculptor and painter Antonio Canova (1757-1822) dedicated more than one marble statue to lovers Cupid and Psyche, whose tormented love story is told by Apuleius in his “Metamorphoses”.

The most famous of them, created between 1787 and 1793, represents the two as they lay in a tender embrace and is currently on display at the Louvre.

In our gallery we focus instead on the one Canova completed between 1800 and 1805, which is kept at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg: here Cupid and Psyche are two teens, standing; the nude god has his arm delicately around the maiden’s shoulder and rests his head on her chest, while she gently places a butterfly in his hand, as a symbol of her soul.

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March 15, 2017