Rodin Works: Cupid and Psyche


In 1898, when 'Eternal Springtime' was exhibited at the Salon, the group was called 'Cupid and Psyche'. In later years, however, Rodin used the same title again for at least three completely different works, executed in marble. The version now exhibited in the Hermitage, executed in 1905, shows Cupid and his beloved in a horizontal position, intimately entangled. A second version shows the couple in a more dynamic diagonal composition; the traditional wings have been added to the Cupid figure. In a third version, exhibited in the Musée Rodin, both characters appear childlike and chubby, like baroque putti.

The story of Cupid and Psyche is rather a fairy tale than a myth and relates how Love and the Soul had to overcome a series of adversary conditions before they finally could be united.

According to most sources, Psyche was  the youngest of three daughters of a mortal king; in other versions she was the daughter of Phoebus-Apollo and Endelechia (the ripeness of Time). She was so extraordinary beautiful that people began to neglect their service to Venus, the proper Goddess of Beauty.

Venus grew jealous of Psyche and instructed her son Cupid (or Amor) to shoot Psyche with one of his arrows. This should make her fall in love with Psyche & Amour the most despicable creature on earth. But Cupid, upon seeing the pretty princess, fell in love with her himself. After long and complicated adventures, the young couple  finally found to each other.

Compared to the exasperate couples from 'The Gates of Hell', mostly unable to really reach each other, and later groups like 'Christ and Mary Magdalen', 'The Fallen Angel' or 'Death of Adonis', dealing with death, sorrow and consolation, 'Cupid and Psyche' in all versions appears idyllic, smooth and complaisant. With the last-mentioned version, 'Psyché et l'Amour', it appears as if Rodin in his last years of active modelling has recurred once more to his 'Idyll of Ixelles'.


Advanced Search and Search Rules

Advanced Search & Search Rules

Terms of Use  Copyright Policy    Menu missing?  Back one page  Reload this page   Top of this page 

Notice: Museum logos appear only as buttons linking to Museum Websites and do not imply any
formal approval of RODIN-WEB pages by these institutions. For details see Copyright Policy.
© Copyright 1992 - Juni 2004 for data collection & design by Hans de Roos - All Rights Reserved.
Last update of this page: 13.06.2004