Psyche Opening the Door into Cupid's Garden
John William Waterhouse (1849- 1917) was an English painter who was stronly influenced by the Victorian neoclassicism and the Pre-Raphaelites. His most famous paintings represent scenes from literature and mythology. I have used one of his paintings 'Psyche Opening the Door into Cupid's Garden' (1904) as the inspiration for a roombox.
In Roman mythology Psyche is the beautiful daughter of a king. Her beauty is even compared to the beauty of Venus, the goddess of love. This infuriates Venus and she sends her son Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with the most hideous man in the world. Cupid is the winged god of love who shoots his arrows into the hearts of both mortals and gods to make them fall in love. When Cupid sees Psyche, he is completely overwhelmed by her beauty. In the confusion he gets shot by his own arrow and so falls in love with Psyche himself, greatly upsetting his mother by doing so. In an attempt to separate the two lovers and rid herself of Psyche, Venus sends Psyche away with some inhumanly difficult tasks to perform. The gods take pity on her and help her to perform all her tasks. Jupiter (de Roman chief god) sees the true love between Psyche and Cupid and decides to let Psyche drink from the nectar of the gods. This makes Psyche immortal so that Psyche and Cupid can be together forever.
Front view roombox 'Psyche'.
The plants used in the roombox all have a meaning. Behind Psyche you can see two large laurels. Laurel symbolizes fame, victory, triumph and glory . The rozes symbolize joy, happiness affection, love and beauty. In the Waterhouse painting a cypress can be seen in the background, symbolizing immortality. I did not have the room to put it in my roombox. I did add two other plants which fitted the scene very well. At Psyche's feet you can see the flowers of the bleeding heart and behind her on the wall the maidenhair fern .
The clothing Psyche wears (made from 'washed' silk ) is loosely based on the tunics worn by Roman women.
Click here to see how I've made 'Psyche'.