Psyche Opening the Golden Box 1903

Date: 1903
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 117 x 74 cm

Psyche Opening the Golden Box 1903 was painted by John William Waterhouse. The young female figure in the foreground appears to be Psyche. Psyche's golden box is on a stone feature in the woods. The figure is wearing feminine clothing and is seated on the stone feature overlooking a small pond. Waterhouse chose the size of the canvas to suit the size of the gallery.

In Greek mythology, Psyche is the daughter of a king. Venus had eyed her as a rival and ordered Cupid to infect her heart with love for the outcast. Cupid became enamored with Psyche and began to visit her chamber every night. He remained invisible. Psyche was warned not to look at Cupid, but the goddess accidentally spilled hot oil on his shoulder. The story reveals the thorny relationship between Psyche and Cupid.