The Abduction of Psyche by Zephyrus to the Palace of Eros

The Abduction of Psyche by Zephyrus to the Palace of Eros
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (French, 1758-1823)
After 1808, probably before 1820
Oil on canvas 
39-3/4 x 32-1/2 (101 x 82.5 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Not on View

Jean La Fontaine's translation of the fable of Psyche, derived from a second-century romance by Lucius Apuleius entitled "Metamorphoses" or "The Golden Ass," was widely read in the early 19th century. Renowned for her beauty, Psyche had incurred the envy of Venus, who sent Cupid to make her fall in love with a monstrous creature. Instead, Cupid fell in love with Psyche; after she was brought to him they became lovers. Prud'hon's style benefitted from the study of the Renaissance masters, particularly Correggio. His technique made ample use of chiaroscuro, and this in combination with his amorous subject matter accounts for the popularity of this picture in its own time. This is one of several copies of the painting Prud'hon made to satisfy the public's voracious demand after the original, now in the Louvre, was successfully exhibited in two Salons.


Henry Camille Marcel (1854-1926), Paris, by 1923.
[Dr. Fritz and Dr. Peter Nathan, Zurich, by April 1972].
[Jan Milner, London, in partnership with Shepherd Gallery Associates, New York, 1978].
[French & Co., New York, 1979-80].
(sale, New York, Sotheby’s, 28 May 1981, lot 20, ill., as L’Enlèvement de Psyché, to);
[Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York, stock no. 2867-6577, sold 25 January 1985 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via email. Requests can also be made by fax or mail.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Please download the Application for Reproduction Permission form and submit it to the Office of Rights and Reproductions.

E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: (626) 449-6840 x 3300
Fax: (626) 796-4978