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      Cupid and Psyche

      The following seven paintings by four different artists tell the story of Cupid and Psyche.

      Psyche (which means ‘soul’ in Greek) was a mortal who became immortal through love. Her beauty incited Venus’s jealousy. The goddess ordered her son Cupid to ruin Psyche’s chances of attracting a husband. But Cupid accidentally fell in love with Psyche himself. He had her transported by a wind to his palace where she was waited on by invisible servants. Intent on keeping his identity a secret, Cupid never let Psyche see him. Overwhelmed by curiosity, Psyche spied on her lover as he slept. Hot oil spilt from her lamp and woke him. Cupid left her in anger.

      Venus set Psyche numerous tasks as punishment. After collecting a precious casket from the underworld Psyche broke Venus’s rules by looking inside and fell into a deep slumber. Jupiter took pity on Cupid, who still loved Psyche, and arranged for her to be carried up to the heavens to be married.

      This love story was popular as an allegory of the divine nature of the human soul.

      The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.