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Art / Cupid and Psyche as Children

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Cupid and Psyche as Children (French: L'Amour et Psyche, enfants) is an oil painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau in 1890. It is currently in a private collection. It was displayed in the Salon of Paris in 1890, the year Bouguereau was President of the Société des Artistes Français. The painting features Greek mythological figures Cupid and Psyché, sharing an embrace and kiss. Bouguereau was a Classical-style painter in the Neoclassical era of art. The painting is characterized by the frothy background the figures delicately stand on. It depicts the beginning of the forbidden romance of Cupid and Psyche, a popular subject at the time of execution.

This painting was not the first, nor the last depiction of both characters by Bouguereau, other paintings being Psyche, Psyche and Cupid and The Rapture of Psyche.

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Cupid and Psyche as Children provides examples of:

  • Butterfly of Transformation: Psyche's wings are moth-like in appearance, representing how she metaphorphized from a mortal to a goddess.
  • First Kiss: The painting has been mistakenly called The First Kiss, implying that this is what it depicts. It is even used as the page-image for the trope itself.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Both characters are in the Heavens together and all we can see are a relaxing landscape of white clouds.
  • Our Nudity Is Different: Indicative of putti art (and artistic depictions of Classical Mythology in general), all characters involved are completely naked.
  • Puppy Love: As both as characterized as putti, the relationship between the two characters are portrayed as this.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: Much like in Bouguereau's other paintings on the subject, Cupid and Psyche are accompanied by a purple cloak, here draped over the cloud that both of them share.
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  • Winged Humanoid: Cupid is portrayed with white angel wings and Psyche has moth wings.


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