Commissioned in 1792 by Countess Katarina Petrovna Bariatinskaja, but not taken over. An oil sketch for this painting, one of the painter's major works, is in the Vorarlberger Landesmuseum in Bregenz. In a letter to the paintress, Goethe mentions the painting seen during a stay in Dessau with full praise (Weimar, 18.I.1797).
An episode from the fairy tale of Cupid and Psyche is described, as told by Apuleius in the 'Golden Ass' (Metamorphoses, IV, 28 - VI, 24): After her return from the underworld, Psyche illegally opened the vessel with beauty ointment, which had been received from Proserpina and was intended for Venus; the essences emerging from it put her into a death-like sleep. Cupid wipes the numbing scents from her face with his golden curls.
See also the study of the subject by Heinrich Füssli (inv. 1994/12).


  • Title: Cupid and Psyche
  • Creator: Angelika Kauffmann
  • Creator Lifespan: 1741 – 1807
  • Creator Death Place: Rome, Italy
  • Creator Birth Place: Chur, Switzerland
  • Date Created: 1792
  • Physical Dimensions: 215,5 x 164,5 cm
  • Type: painting
  • External Link: Kunsthaus Zürich, Online Collection
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Art Movement: Classicism
  • Original title: Amor und Psyche
  • Inventory number: 1987/0005
  • Credit line: Kunsthaus Zürich, Donated by the Jacobs Suchard AG, Zurich, 1987

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