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Cupid and Psyche 
Jacopo del Sellaio (1442 - 1493)
Tempera and gold on a wooden panel

Cupid and Psyche zoomable image 

Jacopo del Sellaio was born and worked in Florence during the Renaissance, at a time when the city was emerging as the cultural and artistic centre of Europe. He was trained by the painter Fra Filippo Lippi and his style of painting uses a light palette of colours and experiments with linear perspective. He was influenced by the artist Sandro Botticelli who trained with him and their work is similar in style.

This colourful panel is from a 'spalliera', a decorated backboard. It would either be mounted on a wall as a headboard or attached to furniture, most commonly a ‘cassone’ (marriage chest). These special chests were made to celebrate a marriage, and were part of a bride’s dowry. They were filled with expensive linen and cloths and paraded through the streets from the bride’s family home to her new home as part of the wedding celebration. It would then be used as a piece of furniture in the family home for storage and sometimes as a bench to sit on.

In 2020, 3800 primary aged children from 40 schools across Cambridgeshire were inpsired to create their own creative responses to Cupid and Psyche. You can find out more about the INSPIRE project, and see some of their beautiful artworks here



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