Tapestry of Paris, workshop of the Faubourg St Germain (Workshop of Raphaël de la Planche)
Tapestry part of a hanging of the History of Psyche
Central composition after Pieter Coecke d'Aelst (1502 - 1550)
Border by Michel Corneille (1603 - 1654)
Woven in wool and silk (wool warp, wool and silk weft)
17th century, around 1660
It is not in the Metamorphoses of Ovid that we find the myth of Psyche but in The Golden Ass or Metamorphoses of Lucius Apuleus (born in 125 AD). The legend tells the misadventures of a princess whose great beauty had aroused the jealousy of Venus. The princess was indeed so beautiful that the rumor had spread in the neighboring cities that a new Venus was mixing with the society of men.
One conceives that true Venus could be irritated of it. She asked her son, Love, to avenge the affront that Psyche had inflicted on her. But Love fell in love with Psyche. He visits her at night and makes her promise not to try to see his face; a sacrilegious curiosity would cause her loss. Urged on by her sisters, Psyche cannot resist her curiosity. She will lose Love and will have to face Venus' vengeance, who reserves her many torments and trials.
Jupiter will finally accede to Eros' prayers and will agree to celebrate his wedding with Psyche; "and, when the time came, a daughter was born to them, whom we name Voluptuousness" thus ends this beautiful legend.