Mythological theme, Amor and Psyché earned Veloso Salgado a 3rd medal in the Salon of 1891 when, as a fellow student in Paris, he was a disciple of Alexandre Cabanel, Fernand Cormon and Benjamin Constant. In a chained narrative of signs and literary references, appear, in a aesthetically symbolic way, the episodes of the love life of Psyché on Earth and the Olympus.
Between two illuminated zones (royal palace, maternal abode) and foreground (happy ending), the artist suggests the succession of events, in announced icons, that describe the allegory. The ribbed Doric column introduces the palace of Eros, in marble and gold, separating or uniting the divine and the earthly, as structural elements of the composition.
In the foreground, representing purity and peace, two white pigeons are treated in short and imprecise brushstrokes, contrasting with a red drapery, symbol of the passion, scenographically arranged. In the background, the synthesis of the situation can be found in a pink veil (white and red combination), referring to an initial state of purity that is consumed in passion at the risk of one’s life (the cherub as the night butterfly referring to an incarnate consciousness of Psyché, initially winged and fragile).
The female figure seems to have been inspired by Augustine Pajou's Abandoned Psyche (1790), by its marbled color, by the lines of the body and, fundamentally, by the expressive treatment of the face and hair. Poetic vision of a non-reality, the painting introduces a salonnard symbolism, although Eros, of neo-classical appearance, is represented in a naturalistic way. The checkered floor, a clear allusion to Renaissance painting, fits into a misty atmosphere that gives the scene an intimacy underlined by dreamlike values.


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