Psyche in a Faint by Pietro Tenerani

Year: 1869Artist: Categories: ,

Psyche in a Faint tells the story of Psyche, a beautiful victim of Venus’ jealousy, who was loved by Cupid and referred to him as “my love” in “Metamorphoses”, a novel by Apuleius. In a fit of jealous revenge, Venus tricks Psyche into believing that all the essence of beauty can be found in a ciborium – a metal, urn-like vessel – which sends Psyche into a deep, corpse-like sleep.

Tuscan sculptor Pietro Tenerani captured Psyche fainting in this marble work of art… but it is not the only version of it that Tenerani represented. In fact, a purist at heart, Tenerani had so much compassion for Psyche in a Faint at the hand of Venus’ jealousy that he represented it in much of his work. This marble version can be seen at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, Italy

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