Cupid and Pysche

Cupid and Pysche



George Romney (1734-1802)
Cupid and Psyche

Pen and brown ink and washes on laid paper
37.7 by 27.7 cm., 14 ¾ by 10 ¾ in.

L. J. Florens Wijsenbeek, The Hague;
Private Collection, London

This is a preliminary study for an oil painting in a UK private collection (see Alex Kidson,
George Romney, 2002, no. 45, pp. 102-3). Romney appears to have started work on the painting shortly after his return from Italy in the summer of 1775, doubtless inspired by what he had seen abroad. He then abandoned work on it before finishing it in early 1798. The existence of this drawing and another drawing of the subject (Kidson, op. cit., p. 103, illustrated as fig. 33) suggest that the reason for the delay is that Romney had problems resolving the positioning of the couple's interwined legs. The two drawings show the couple in reverse with Cupid looking into a mirror whereas the finished oil shows the wedding of the reunited couple.