After I had corrected my error,I found some very passionate and erotic artworks depicting these sultry lovers.
Here is a better quality print of the painting by J.L. David
A king had three daughters, of whom the youngest, Psyche, had such a radiant beauty that it rivaled Venus'. And people deserted the worship of Venus in adoration of Psyche. Venus was furious and commanded her son Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with the most loathsome creature on earth. However, Cupid, a handsome youth, fell in love with Psyche and asked Apollo for help.
As time passed Psyche fell in love with no one, whereas her sisters were married to kings. Her parents consulted the oracle of Apollo, which commanded them to dress Psyche in mourning and take her to a rocky mount where a hideous and mighty dragon would carry her off to be its wife. Sadly her parents did as they were told and went home to mourn.
The gentle West Wind picked Psyche up and carried her off to a wondrous, fertile country. She awoke to find a palace of gold and silver and gems. Voices within the palace reassured her and she made herself welcome, bathing and eating. At night Cupid came to her in darkness and made love to her, but he left before daybreak. Even though she never saw him she knew he was god-like and handsome.
Cupid would return every night, but happy as she was Psyche could not help thinking of her sisters, who were lamenting for her. Cupid warned her that her sisters would bring ruin, yet Psyche longed to see them. When at last they came to visit they were amazed and jealous to see Psyche's lavish wealth and to hear her speak so lovingly of her husband. When the sisters left, Cupid again warned Psyche of them, but since she had no other companions, she longed to see them.
The sisters returned and made Psyche confess that she had never seen her husband. They made her doubt whether he was a man and not some hideous monster. Further, they gave her a knife to murder him and a lamp with which to see him. In her consternation Psyche decided to settle her husband's identity once and for all. In the night as Cupid lay asleep she brought the lighted lamp over to him with the dagger in her hand. But she saw the most handsome being alive on the bed and the dagger fell from her hand. But hot oil from the lamp fell on his shoulder. Awakening, he left her, but as he departed he revealed himself as the God of Love, who cannot live where trust is lacking.
Desolate, Psyche determined to find her husband and show him how strong her love really was. Cupid had returned to his mother Venus, but Venus was angry when she learned he had chosen Psyche. After praying to the gods in vain Psyche resolved to approach her arch-enemy Venus and offer to serve her humbly. It required all the courage Psyche could muster. And Venus received the girl with humiliating scorn, taunting her about her vanished husband. Venus observed that to obtain a mate such a plain-looking girl as Psyche must become accomplished in menial but diligent service. The goddess then set the poor girl an impossible task.
Psyche had to sort out a huge mixture of tiny seeds into separate piles. Bewildered at having to do it by nightfall Psyche was disheartened, but an army of ants felt compassion for her and sorted the seeds. Venus was angry when she found the job done, and she gave Psyche a bread crust and told her to sleep on the ground, thinking to destroy her beauty.
The next morning Venus told the girl to fetch some of the golden fleece from very fierce sheep that grazed by a river. Psyche despaired of the task and considered drowning herself, but a reed advised her to wait till the sheep came out of the thicket near evening and she could gather the fleece from the thorns.
Having accomplished it, Psyche was given the task of fetching a vial of water from the source of the River Styx, which was unapproachable except by air. An eagle took the flask and filled it for her.
Then Venus gave Psyche a box to take to the underworld and borrow some of Proserpina's beauty. A tower told her how to reach the underworld and how to conduct hereself there, so Psyche safely passed Charon and Cerberus and reached the Queen of Death, who filled the box.
As Psyche returned to Venus she was seized with curiosity to know what was in the box and thought to enhance her own beauty for Cupid's sake. As she opened the box and saw nothing in it she fell into a deathlike state.
By now Cupid had recovered from the wound that the hot oil had caused. Although Venus had locked him in his room, he escaped through a window and discovered Psyche in a swoon. Cupid took the sleep from her eyes, put it back in the box, and pricked her awake with an arrow.
After reproaching her for her curiosity he assured her that everything would work out. As Psyche took the box to Venus, Cupid asked Jove to make Psyche immortal so that they might be officially married on Olympus. Jove consented, and the wedding took place. Venus no longer objected to the match, and they lived happily forever.
Here's a silly couple acting out a lovers duel
Cupid the comic book hero!
Here's an interesting variation, photograph by Warren Criswell
I saved my favorite one for last!
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