Cupid is well known and each year around Valentine’s Day images of the winged archer appear everywhere as people either show their love for their existing partner or hope to find the beginnings of love with someone new. The image of the winged cherub is also a popular one for people to include in statues and comes just a few below Bronze Wildlife Sculpture like those you can see at gill parker, in terms of overall popularity. You may even see a mixture of angel and cherub inspired sculptures as well as wildlife sculptures included in many stately homes across the country.
Although his name is known by most if not all, the story behind his own journey with love is not as well reported.
Cupid appears in both Greek and Roman mythology. In Greek terms his name is Eros and he was the son of Aphrodite, the Romans refer to him as Cupid and he was the son of Venus. It is said that if cupid shoots one of his diamond tips arrows at you that you will fall in love but if it is one of his lead-tipped arrows that hit you, you will fall out of love.
So, if you haven’t heard the tale of Cupid and Psyche here is a little taster for you.
Cupid fell madly in love with Psyche who was incredibly beautiful, so beautiful in fact that Cupid’s mother Venus the Goddess of Beauty, Love and Desire was incredibly jealous of her. Cupid and Psyche ignored the jealous actions of Venus and were married. However, Cupid told Psyche never to look at him as he felt somewhat overshadowed by her beauty. In order to keep his appearance hidden, he would only visit Psyche in the evenings. One evening her curiosity got the better of her (a theme you will see again later on in the tale) and she lit a lamp to gaze upon her husband. Cupid was enraged and left immediately, never to return.
Psyche was distraught and desperately wanted to do whatever she could to get Cupid to come back to her. After searching unsuccessfully for hours, she came across the Temple of Venus. Venus, seeing her opportunity to destroy the beautiful Psyche once and for all told the distraught lady that she would help her but that a series of tasks would need to be completed first. Of course, each one of these was more treacherous than the one before. Her final task was to take a box, that she had been forbidden to open, into the underworld to steal some of the beauty of Proserpine. Again, curiosity overcame Psyche and she opened the box, inside she found a dark slumber that overcame her. Here is where Cupid reappears as on his travels he stumbles across the lifeless body of Psyche, he is desperately in love with her. He is said to have swept the dark slumber back into its box and then pleaded with the Gods to make her a Goddess so that they could remain together for the rest of eternity. The Gods loved favorably on the couple and as the old saying goes “they lived happily ever after”