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Abraham Bloemaert (1566-1651)

The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche c.1595

RCIN 407282

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The marriage of Cupid and Psyche was celebrated by a banquet of the gods on Mount Olympus and is the happy outcome of the story recounted by Apuleius in The Golden Ass. Cupid, with wings, and Psyche are seated facing us in the centre; Venus and Mars embrace with Vulcan to the left and Bacchus to the right. Dominating the foreground are Neptune and Mercury.

This is an early work by one of Utrecht’s principal painters when he was much influenced by Bartolomeus Spranger’s late Mannerist style of complicated twisting poses and dramatic foreshortening. The composition is based on an engraving by Hendrik Goltzius after a drawing by Spranger.