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William Bouguereau (1825-1905)  L'Amour et Psyche, enfants [Cupid and Psyche as Children]  Oil on canvas, 1889  47 x 27 7/8 inches (119.5 x 71 cm)  Private collection
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Title: Cupid and Psyche as Children
Description:
William Bouguereau (1825-1905)
L'Amour et Psyche, enfants [Cupid and Psyche as Children]
Oil on canvas, 1889
47 x 27 7/8 inches (119.5 x 71 cm)
Private collection

The story of Cupid and Psyche was one of Bouguereaus favorite myths. He painted several works inspired this legend, such as The Rapture of Psyche, Psyche and Cupid, and Psyche. The myth of Cupid and Phsyche first appears written in The Golden Ass of Lucius Apuleius in the 2nd century AD. In the story, Psyche is a beautiful princess of whom the goddess Venus is jealous. In her rage she orders her son cupid to make Psyche fall in love with a monster, but Cupid falls in love with her himself. After several trials Cupid and Psyche make their plea to the gods who turn Psyche into an immortal and allow them to be married in heaven (British Library). In this painting Bouguereau was inspired to paint the two lovers together as children. Demonstrating that fate its self had a hand in there meeting. They were born to be together. The subtle paint handling captures the childrens innocence and illustrates to the viewer that Cupid's original attraction to Psyche was not purely physical, but also platonic, for the innocence of childhood does not allow for anything else. You cannot have true love without also having a mutual trust and respect, and a relaxed and enduring companionship between lovers. Cupid and Psyches union then is not just physical: they are soul mates and compliment each other eternally.

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William Bouguereau (1825-1905)  Compassion!  Oil on canvas, 1897  Private collectionWilliam Bouguereau (1825-1905)  L'Amour et Psyche, enfants [Cupid and Psyche as Children]  Oil on canvas, 1889  47 x 27 7/8 inches (119.5 x 71 cm)  Private collectionWilliam Bouguereau (1825-1905)  L'Amour au Papillon [Cupid with a Butterfly]  Oil on canvas, 1888  66 1/8 x 46 inches (168 x 117 cm)  Collection of Fred and Sherry Ross
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