'Psyche at the Well of Forgiveness', 1911, James Herbert McNair

naked female figure by a well containing a mermaid, full description follows in main text

Pencil and watercolour
s. and d.b.r.: ‘J. HERBERT MACNAIR 1911.’
15.4 x 16.2 (6 1/8 x 6 3/8)
National Museums Liverpool (Walker Art Gallery)

This watercolour perhaps illustrates the moment in the classical tale of the beautiful maiden Psyche, when she is roused from a deep, infernal sleep by the power of love, personified by Cupid.

Psyche’s life became an allegory for the search of the Soul for union with Desire, symbolized by Cupid. Butterflies are also present; they too are a symbol for the Soul.