Sunday, 8 January 2012

Bite 150: Sir Joshua Reynolds - Cupid and Psyche, c. 1789

Cupid and Psyche, c. 1789, oil on canvas, 139.8 x 168.3 cm, Courtauld Gallery, London
Candlelight illuminates the corpse-like figure of the sleeping Cupid. Psyche, seeking to discover the true identity of her lover, sneaks into his bedroom under the cover of darkness. She reaches out her hand, touched with the light of her candle, in surprise or wonder, toward the revealed body of her lover - his wings curled beneath him, the tip grazing one side; his bow - useless without an arrow - clasped against the other. The angel's skin is cold and white, his seemingly lifeless body heavy upon his pillow. The cool light of the moon helps illuminate the mysterious scene.