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Motifs from the Story of Cupid and Psyche

Special Exhibition of the Collection of Casts of Ancient Sculptures, Freie Universität Berlin

№ 22/2009 from Jan 29, 2009

The Collection of Casts of Ancient Sculptures at the Institute of Classical Archaeology, Freie Universität Berlin, is hosting a special exhibition from January 30 through April 26, 2009. Its theme is "Cupid and Psyche – A Tale in Twelve Images." Reproductions of wallpaper images depicting the story of Cupid and Pysche will be contrasted with casts of ancient sculpture, giving an impression of how the ancient myth has been presented in imagery through different periods of history. The exhibition opening will be on Friday, January 30, 2009, at 7:00 p.m.

Grisaille wallpaper depicting 12 illustrations from the story of Cupid and Psyche was first produced in 1815 in Joseph Dufour‘s manufactory in Paris. The wallpaper was based on designs by the painters Merry-Joseph Blondel (1781–1853) and Louis Lafitte (1770–1828). Visitors to the exhibition are first introduced to the ancient tale as it was told in the novel Metamorphoses (also called The Golden Ass) by Apuleius in the 2nd century A.D. Inspiration for the wallpaper panels came from the ancient version of the myth as well a re-telling of Apuleius's novel by the French author, Jean de La Fontaine, whose literary text was published in 1669 as Les amours de Psyché et de Cupidon. Exhibition visitors are also introduced to the specific problems of a visualization. The twelve images do not illustrate the story, but rather set their own priorities, demonstrating how text and picture follow their own laws.

The exhibition was compiled and arrnaged by students of Classical Archaeology and Latin Studies of Freie Universität Berlin and Rostock University under the direction of the curator, Dr. Lorenz Winkler- Horaček. It is a joint project of the two universities.


  • Opening Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 2 – 5 p.m.; January 30 – April 26, 2009
  • Opening: Friday, January 30, 2009, 7 p.m.
  • Collection of Casts of Ancient Sculptures, Schloßstraße 69b, 14059 Berlin

Additional information may be obtained from:

Dr. Lorenz Winkler-Horaček, Collection of Casts of Ancient Sculptures, Freie Universität Berlin, Telephone: 030 / 34 24 054, Email: