George Frederic Watts

Psyche

1880

On display at Tate Britain

Artist
George Frederic Watts 1817–1904
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1886 x 597 mm
frame: 2215 x 933 x 83 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1882
Reference
N01585

Display caption

Psyche was a mortal of such beauty that the goddess Venus became jealous of this highly praised rival. She sent her son, Cupid, to make Psyche fall in love with a monster. Cupid, however, fell in love with her himself and hid her in a palace where he visited her by night. She was forbidden to look at him, but curiosity got the better of her, resulting in their separation until Jupiter reunited them in heaven. It was the depiction of such stories from ancient mythology which earned Watts and other artists such Frederic Leighton the title ‘Olympian’, taken from Mount Olympus, the home of the gods.

Gallery label, November 2016