Sunday, April 12, 2009
Cupid and Psyche
While I was reading Cupid and Psyche, I was thinking about what the heck kind of pictures I would find...only because the story is so long and there are so many amazing scenes. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed to find that mostly all of the images were just of Cupid and Psyche together in an embrace. They are beautiful pictures, don't get me wrong, and many do a great job of reflecting the emotion between the two, but they are just all sort of the same.
I was anticipating great depictions of Psyche alone in Cupid's grand palace, or her awful nasty sisters, her tasks she completed for Venus, or even a final depiction of her becoming immortal, a portrait maybe. I didn't quite find any of that, but there is a painting of Psyche in the act of revealing Cupid's identity, which a thought was refreshing in a sea of feel-good and erotic paintings and sculptures.
I personally hadn't heard this particular story before, and was fascinated by all the facets of it. The innocence of Psyche seemed to assure her a miserable fate from the beginning, but turns out that her consistent innocence led her to great things in the end. She never seemed to act much like a victim, but went about her way in order to continue to do what she thought she must. And I think she totally deserved her happy ending. It was a great story and I really can't stop thinking about it. I looked it up on Wiki (of course) to figure out where it originated from, and it actually said it first emerged from The Golden Ass. This kind of surprised me a little because I was half expecting it to be from some collection of stories by another great and less well known author like Ovid. But go figure, I guess that's enough proof that this book truly is a classic in the foundations of literature.