David Psyche 1795.jpg

Psyche Abandoned is a c.1795 painting by Jacques-Louis David, and is now in a private collection. It shows Psyche abandoned by Cupid as a crouching female nude in profile against a blue sky and a hill in the background. Vertical in format, it represents David's early style and shows his approach to the female nude to be different from the academic canons.

"A painted study of Psyche" appears on three of David's lists of his own work as a pendant to The Vestal Virgin.[1] Long thought lost, it was rediscovered in 1991[2] and exhibited in the 2010 Louvre exhibition L’Antiquité rêvée.[3]


  1. ^ One is the list of 1789 cited in Verbraeken 1973, p. 245
  2. ^ Antoine Schnapper, "Après l'exposition David. La «Psyché» retrouvée", Revue de l'Art, 1991, p. 60-67
  3. ^ Guilhem Scherf (ed), "L’Antiquité rêvée, innovations et résistances au XVIIIe siècle", Louvre éditions and Gallimard, 2010, (ISBN 9782070130887)