Psyche Asking Proserpine for Her Box of Beauty

Andrea Appiani1792/1792

Fondazione Cariplo

Fondazione Cariplo
Milan, Italy

This drawing together with Psyche Worshipped as the Personification of Beauty are preparatory studies for the Cupid and Psyche fresco cycle in the Rotonda at the Villa Reale in Monza. Commissioned from Appiani by Archduke Ferdinand II of Habsburg-Lorraine and his wife Maria Beatrice at the beginning of 1792, the cycle was completed by the artist in the space of a few months. There exist various preparatory drawings for the cycle, and a work depicting the same subject as this one, with a few minor variations, is in a private collection in Monza. In the stylistic rendering of the Cupid and Psyche fresco cycle, and consequently in the preparatory drawings, influences deriving from Appiani’s visit to Rome in 1791 are clearly evident. Indeed, the references to Raphael and his analogous cycle in the Villa Farnesina, to Domenichino’s frescoes in the church of Sant’Andrea della Valle – and also to those by Correggio in the dome of the church of San Giovanni in Parma where Appiani stayed for a while – are unmistakable. Here, the artist is clearly in the process of defining the language associated with the height of his mature period, whose Neoclassical stamp was to make him the leading exponent of Napoleonic painting.


  • Title: Psyche Asking Proserpine for Her Box of Beauty
  • Creator: Andrea Appiani
  • Date: 1792/1792
  • Physical Dimensions: w33 x h22 cm (Without frame)
  • Provenance: Cariplo Foundation, 1991
  • Type: Painting, ink & watercolour on paper
  • Rights: http://www.artgate-cariplo.it/en/disclaimer.html
  • External Link: www.artgate-cariplo.it

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps