This passionate kiss between Cupid and Psyche, represented in a Roman marble sculpture from the middle of the 2nd century – a copy of a Greek original from the 2nd century BC – is currently on display at Rome’s Capitoline Museums.
In the “Metamorphoses” of Apuleius (which Saint Augustine referred to as “The Golden Ass” in his “De Civitate Dei”), the god of love and the beautiful mortal exchange “long, lascivious” kisses. After a tormented love story, the Roman author and philosopher conceded the two a happy ending: Psyche marries Cupid and becomes a goddess herself.
In his autobiography “Lucinde”, German writer Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829) wrote:
This moment the kiss of Amor and Psyche is the rose of life. Love is not merely a quiet longing for the infinite; it is also the holy enjoyment of a beautiful present. It is not merely a mixture, a transition from the mortal to the immortal, but it is a complete union of both. There is a pure love, an indivisible and simple feeling, without the slightest interference of restless striving. Every one gives the same as he takes, one just like the other, all is balanced and completed in itself, like the everlasting kiss of the divine children.
Let’s enjoy the beauty of this “rose of life”.