The story of the love of Amor and Psyche, as related by Apuleius in ancient times, inspired artists into ever new images: Psyche, visited each night by her lover Amor, who nevertheless refuses to reveal his shape and his name, succumbs to curiosity and approaches the sleeping Amor in order to see his true form by the light of an oil lamp. Inadvertently, a drop of oil falls onto Amor, who flees in shock. Only after Psyche has passed various tests and the gods give their permission, may she marry her lover in the gods’ heaven. For his first large, independent sculpture, Begas chose the dramatic highpoint of the story, when Psyche bends over her lover. The composition is in the traditions of classical sculpture and is structured within a broad-based triangle with Psyche’s head marking its highest point. The work is built up on a harmonious oval plinth. The treatment of surfaces and individual shapes alike shows Begas’ move from strict linearity to the soft, painterly modelling that was soon to become characteristic of neo-Baroque art.