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.