After Raphaël by A. Legrande [le Grande]. Psyche Surprises Eros. "L'Amour Supris." Paris "chez Bance, ainé, rue St Denis." C1790-1800
Black and white stipple engraving of Psyche uncovering Eros by Augustin Legearde after Rapaël. Title and text in French It is attributed to Raphaël, but is more likely inspired by him and his famous frescoes of the Loggia di Psyche in the Villa Farnesina (1517-18) .
Psyche's beauty caused the jealousy and envy of Aphrodite In order to avenge herself, the goddess ordered Eros to inspire Psyche with a love for the most contemptible of all men: but Eros was so stricken with her beauty that he himself fell in love with her. He accordingly conveyed her to some charming place, where he, unseen and unknown, visited her every night, and left her as soon as the day began to dawn. Psyche might have continued to have enjoyed without interruption this state of happiness, if she had attended to the advice of her beloved, never to give way to her curiosity, or to inquire who he was. But her jealous sisters made her believe that in the darkness of night she was embracing some hideous monster, and accordingly once, while Amor was asleep, she approached him with a lamp, and, to her amazement, she beheld the most handsome and lovely of the gods. In her excitement of joy and fear, a drop of hot oil fell from her lamp upon his shoulder. This awoke Amor, who censured her for her mistrust, and escaped. Psyche's peace was now gone all at once, and after having attempted in vain to throw herself into a river, she wandered about from temple to temple, inquiring after her beloved, and at length came to the palace of Venus. There her real sufferings began, for Venus retained her, treated her as a slave, and inmposed upon her the hardest and most humiliating labours. Psyche would have perished under the weight of her sufferings, had not Amor, who still loved her in secret, invisibly comforted and assisted her in her labours. With his aid she at last succeeded in overcoming the jealousy and hatred of Venus; she became immortal, and was united with him for ever. Dark impression; light toning; scattered light spotting, most noticeable in blank margins.
The name "A. Legrand" appears as the engraver of the works of artists such as Jean-Louis Prévost, Fragonard and E. Aubry. A. Legrand was probably Auguste-Claude-Simon Legrand (1765-1815) a French engraver, who produced prints of religious and literary subjects, views and portraits. He was a pupil of Louis le Grand.
407 by 470mm (16 by 18½ inches).
ref: 2689 €500