PsycheThe story of Psyche and Cupid is told by Apuleius, a Roman writer of the 2nd century AD , in his picaresque romance, 'The Golden Ass'.
Psyche was a beautiful mortal woman whom Venus envied and to whom she sent Cupid to ensure that Psyche would fall in love with someone unsuitable. However, Cupid fell in love with her himself and took her to his castle, where he visited her only at night, forbidding her to see him. Unable to bear this, and urged on by her sisters, Psyche spied on the sleeping Cupid by the light of a lamp, but a drop of oil fell on him and he woke and disappeared.
Psyche sought hopelessly for him, being set impossible tasks by Venus, but was eventually borne up to heaven, where she married Cupid at a great wedding feast.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN