Psyche carrying a cake to Cerberus, 1843
John Gibson RA (1790 - 1866)
RA Collection: Art
A drawing of 'Psyche bringing cake to Cerberus' depicting Psyche on the left, wearing long robes and a cloak, holding the crescent shaped cake above the three-headed dog Cerberus depicted on the right. This scene portrays Psyche's journey to Hades through which she managed to pass unharmed by pacifying the dog with honey-cake. The drawing is in pen and ink outline over pencil
According to John Gibson's biographer, T. Matthews, the artist 'returned to Rome in the autumn ...His new subject was a variation of the story of Psyche, who arrives before the palace of Pluto. She sees the dog Cerebus, is startled and stares with wide open eyes at the monster. She is agitated, her nostrils are dilated - there is a quivering of the lips; she keeps up her courage, and her hope of safety is in the cake which she is about to throw to the three-headed dog. Whilst Cerebus is eating the cake, Psyche passes on her journey into the Palace' (p. 234).
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