Psyche in the Temple of Love

Edward John Poynter, 1882

WAG 673

About this object

Psyche’s beauty attracted much attention. Venus, the goddess of love, became jealous and tried to get revenge. She convinced Cupid to seduce the young beauty and cause her great sadness. Cupid fell in love Psyche, visiting her under the darkness of night to avoid Venus’s wrath.

Poynter shows Psyche amusing herself during the daytime. She plays with her usual emblem, the butterfly. This symbolises the human soul. The doves of Venus fly ominously in the background.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Edward John Poynter (British: English, born:1836-03-20, died:1919-07-26)
  • Date
  • Materials
    Oil; Canvas
  • Measurements
    canvas/support: 66.3 x 50.7
  • Physical description
    Portrait of a young lady standing near a window playing with a butterfly. She wears a peach coloured gown and head-dress.
  • Related people
    Edward John Poynter (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 673
  • Credit line
    Presented to the Walker Art Gallery by the Arts Section of the Social Science Congress, Liverpool in 1882
  • Location
    Walker Art Gallery, Room 08
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: 18 E J P 82 (initials (monogram), bottom left)
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
Object view = Fine Art
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