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Pencil Drawing - Cupid and Psyche - Four Sketches of Psyche in the Underworld

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1927P648.73
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1865 - 1865

Maker Information

Artist:Sir Edward Burne-Jones - View biography for Sir Edward Burne-Jones


From a bound volume containing 86 studies for illustrations to 'The Story of Cupid and Psyche' made to accompany the poem in William Morris' 'The Earthly Paradise'.

The design of the lower right study with Psyche and Proserpine is similar to 1927P648.71, although with more architectural detailing. On the reverse is a study for 'Psyche's descent into Limbo', similar compositionally to 'The Gate of Hell' from the Oprheus Series in the mid-1870s used to decorate the Graham Piano (1875-80, Private Collection).

The figure of Psyche is identical to that in the wood engraving, although the rocky background differs. There is also a study for 'Psyche Carrying the Casket through the Shadowy Meads' and for 'Psyche disregarding the calls for help from the Men loading an Ass and Three old Women weaving sent to trap her'.

Bequeathed by James Richardson Holliday, 1927.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
Medium:Pencil on paper. Bound.

Associated People


Height:227 mm
Width:214 mm