The Abduction of Psyche by Zephyrus to the Palace of Eros

The Abduction of Psyche by Zephyrus to the Palace of Eros
Artist:
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (French, 1758-1823)
Date:
After 1808, probably before 1820
Medium:
Oil on canvas 
Dimensions:
39-3/4 x 32-1/2 (101 x 82.5 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
M.1985.1.P 
Copyright:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Not on View
Description

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.

Provenance:

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.

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