People Rendering Honors to Psyche
Master of the Die (Italian or German printmaker, active ca. 1532)
(Urbino, Italy, 1483-1520 - , Rome, Italy)
7.87 x 9.25 in. (20 x 23.5 cm)
Medium and Support:
Engraving on paper
Museum purchase, 2016
Not on view.
This engraving formed part of a series of 32 prints telling the story of the god Cupid and the mortal woman, Psyche, with whom he fell in love. In this early scene, the beautiful Psyche receives tribute from a crowd of people in front of a pagan temple. Below, the lines of verse (drawn from a translation of Apuleius) explain that Psyche was one of three daughters born to a king and queen. More beautiful than her sisters and more beautiful than any mortal, she received honors which were rightfully due to Venus, the goddess of beauty—spurring the goddess to seek revenge.
The name of the Master of the Die is unknown, but he seems to have studied with Marcantonio Raimondi, one of the best-known Renaissance engravers. The print is inscribed with the name of the publisher, Antonio Salamanca, at the lower left: “Ant[onio] Sal[amanca] ex[e]c[utor].”