H: 11" Cold Cast Marble-like Resin
This figurine is a reproduction of Antonio Canova's statue "Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss," first commissioned in 1787, which exemplifies the Neoclassical obsession with love and emotion. It represents the god Cupid in the height of love and tenderness, right after awakening the lifeless Psyche with a kiss, a scene excerpted from Lucius Apuleius' The Golden Ass. A masterpiece of its period, it appeals to the senses of sight and touch, yet simultaneously alludes to the Romantic interest in emotion co-existing with Neoclassicism.
The legend of Cupid and Psyche (also known as The Tale of Amor and Psyche and The Tale of Eros and Psyche) first appeared as a digressionary story told by an old woman in Lucius Apuleius' novel, The Golden Ass, written in the second century A.D. Apuleius likely used an earlier tale as the basis for his story.
Envious and jealous of the beauty of a mortal girl named Psyche, Venus asks her son Cupid (known to the Greeks as Eros) to use his golden arrows while Psyche sleeps, so that when she awakes, Venus (Aphrodite to the Greeks) would have already placed a vile creature for her to fall in love with. Cupid finally agrees to her commands after a long (and losing) debate. As he flies to Psyche's room at night, he turns himself invisible so no one can see him fly in through her window. He takes pity on her, for she was born too beautiful for her own safety. As he slowly approaches, careful not to make a sound, he readies one of his golden arrows. He leans over Psyche while she is asleep and before he can scratch her shoulder with the arrow, she awakens, startling him, for she looks right into his eyes, despite his invisibility. This causes him to scratch himself with his arrow, falling deeply in love with her.
The story continues at length after this moment including a period when no one in the world can fall in love, marry, or mate, causing the earth to grow old. After many, many trials and tribulations, Jupiter has Psyche fetched to Mount Olympus, and gives her a drink made from ambrosia, granting her immortality. Psyche and Cupid marry and have a daughter, called Voluptas or Delight, the goddess of "sensual pleasures", whose Latin name means "pleasure" or "bliss".
The original does not have the fig leaf depicted on this reproduction :)
(some information adapted from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia)