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Psyches Et Amoris Nuptiæ Ac Fabula A Raphaele Sanctio Urbinate Romæ In Farnesianis Hortis Transtyberim Ad Veterum Æmulationem Ac Laudem Colorum Luminibus Expressa a Nicolao Dorigny ad similitudinem delineata et incisa, et a Ioanne Petro Bellorio notis illustrata Ad Serenissimum Principem Ranutium Secundum Parmæ ac Placentiæ Ducem &c. Quae tua sunt Tibi sacro, Serenissime Princeps, ...

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Typis Ac Sumptibus Dominici De Rubeis Io. Iacobi Filii Ac Heredis., Romæ Ad Templum S Mariæ De Pace Cum Privilegio Summi Pontificis, Et Sup. Perm. Ædita: Anno M·D·C·XCIII· Die XV. Augusti.

Physical Description

12 pl. (incl. t.pl.); 469 mm.


[T.pl. incl. dedic.] - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

Plates 2-12 are signed as by Raphael as 'inventor' and as drawn and engraved by Dorigny.

Each carries the imprint of the printer/publisher, Domenicus De Rubeis [i.e. Domenico de' Rossi].

The work is dedicated by Domenicus de Rubeis to the Farnese prince, Ranuccio II, Duke of Parma.


Italy. Ministero Per I Beni Culturali E Ambientali. Istituto Nazionale Per la Grafica, Raphael Invenit: Stampe Da Raffaello Nelle Collezioni Dell'Istituto Nazionale Per La Grafica: Catalogo (1985), p.155-6, 634-5; L. Bianchi, 'La fortuna di Raffaello nell'incisione', in M. Salmi, ed., Raffaello: l'opera, le fonte, la fortuna (1968), 2, p.647-89.

G. Caneva, Il mondo di Cerere nella loggia di Psiche: villa la Farnesina, sede dell'Accademia nazionale dei Lincei (1992); J. Shearman, 'Die Loggie der Psyche in der Villa Farnesina', in Jahrbuch Kunsthist. Samml. Wien, 24 (1964), p.59-100.

On treatment of the Cupid and Psyche myth, P.J. Accardo, The metamorphosis of Apuleius: Cupid and Psyche, Beauty and the Beast, King Cong (2002); S. Cavicchioli, The tale of Cupid and Psyche: an illustrated history (2002); M. Acocella, L'asino d'oro nel Rinascimento: dai volgarizzamenti alle raffigurazioni pittoriche (2001); C.C. Schlam, Cupid and Psyche: Apuleius and the monuments (1976).

On engagement with ancient myth in the 14th and 15th centuries see E.H. Gombrich, Symbolic images (1972); D.C. Allen, Mysteriously meant: the rediscovery of pagan symbolism (1970).

Summary Note

The publication-date of 1693 is found also on plates 2, 7-11.

The title plate (pl. 1) is followed by ten plates (pl.2-11) showing the frescoes of the myth of Cupid and Psyche, executed by Raphael's studio in the loggia of Villa Farnesina in 1518, and one plate (pl. 12) showing Raphael's fresco of the 'Triumph of Galatea' (executed for Agostino Chigi at Villa Farnesina in 1512).

The title plate describes the work as 'notis illustrata', but there are no notes apart from Latin captions describing each image. These captions are in Roman and Italic type; and on Plate 2 the Italic caption is credited to Apuleius, whose Metamorphoses provide the locus classicus of the Cupid and Psyche story.

L.B. Alberti in De re aedificatoria (ca. 1450) had suggested that house decoration should reflect status and function; and later Renaissance writers - such as G.P. Lomazzo in his Trattato dell'arte (1584) - recommended scenes of virtue and heroism for public rooms and lighter subjects such as loves and metamorphoses of pagan gods for private rooms and villas. Cycles of the latter sort were painted by Raphael, Correggio, Giulio Romano, Titian and others. Ancient myth proved a continuing stimulus to artists; and libraries such as that of the Royal Academy acquired many iconographic handbooks, including V. Cartari's Imagini (1571) and C. Ripa's Iconologia (1593), and later studies by Montfaucon, Banier and Winckelmann.


On the front pastedown of this copy is pasted a slip inscribed in ink, 'This Work is the Property of Mrs Fisher a Widow & Mother of a most dutiful & affectionate Son a Student of the Academy who assisted to the support of his Mother till death. He died prematurely. H.W.P.' [ i.e. H. W. Pickersgill, R.A., librarian from 1856 to 1864]. This note was probably transcribed by Pickersgill from an earlier inscription since it is likely that this copy was one of the two volumes listed rather cryptically as 'Psyche, Apuleius' on shelf B d 4 and B d 5 in the 1841 edition of the Library's printed Catalogue (p. 10).

Copy Note

The title plate is inscribed in pencil, 'Bromley'. A front endpaper is inscribed in ink, 'Girtin No 2 H Martin le Grand' and 'The imaginary propensity of my', and a drawing in ink of a female figure with putto.

Other preliminary and concluding leaves, and the versos of pl. 8 and 11 carry pencil drawings of figures.

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf, upper and lower covers with gilt borders incorporating motifs of double-headed eagles in the corners; rebacked in 20th century, spine undecorated and unlettered.

Name as Subject


Interior Decoration, Italian - Mural paintings, Italian - Frescoes, Italian - Paintings, Italian - Paintings, European - Palaces - Villas - Italy - Rome - History - 16th century - Renaissance
Cupid and Psyche (Tale) - Mythology, Greek
Pictorial works - Italy - 17th century


Giovanni Pietro Bellori
Raphael, source artist
Domenico de Rossi, publisher, printer
Sir Nicolas Dorigny, draughtsman, engraver
Mrs. Fisher, previous owner
Apuleius, Metamorphoses