reclining nude female figure carried by winged putti

Psyche Carried Off by the Zephyrs, 1808 or later

Not on Viewexpand_more

In the story of Cupid and Psyche, Psyche was left by her family on a mountaintop to marry a monstrous groom. But the kindly west winds, the Zephyrs, lifted her up and transported her to Cupid’s palace.

Prud’hon’s soft sfumato modeling, lyrical grace, and sensual handling earned him the nickname “the French Correggio,” because of that Italian Renaissance master’s profound influence. Just before beginning this composition, Prud’hon had restored two of Correggio’s mythological paintings, Leda and the Swan and a copy of Jupiter and Io. Both of those unabashedly erotic pictures had been mutilated in the previous century by the son of Philippe, duc d’Orléans, in an insane fit of religious rage.

Prud’hon’s intimate study of Correggio is evident in Psyche, one of his most titillating works. Yet Prud’hon created something wholly original—a calculated display of a beautiful (naked) woman in the guise of an ancient story.

Psyche Carried Off by the Zephyrs
Artist Life
Accession Number
'F. Van den Zande (cf. Lugt 2680). 'Monsieur Denesle* (until 1860; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, March 30, 1860, p. 7, for Fr 800, to Clément). 'Maximin Maurel (until 1865; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 10, 1865, no. 21, for Fr 950). 'Monsieur Derenaucourt (until 1883; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 7, 1883, no. 103, for Fr 500. [Jan Milner, London, before 1976; sold to Shepherd]; [Shepherd Gallery, New York, 1976; sold to MIA] *The copy of this sale catalogue at the Frick identifies the unnamed seller, "M. D...," as "Dennel" rather than "Denesle" as the BNF and Met. copies do.
Catalogue Raisonne
?Guiffrey 1924, 151
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

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reclining nude female figure carried by winged putti