Irena and Zoe, The Trials of Love, 2010

Inspired by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Cupid and Psyche, c. 1789.

We chose this image, Cupid and Psyche because we were drawn to its experimentation with light and shadow. We later read that the painter Joshua Reynolds had purposely experimented with light at nighttime. We were also very interested in the sky in the background as it looks very effective. We decided to make our animation follow the story behind the image of Cupid and Psyche. We named our image ‘The Trials of Love’ as Cupid and Psyche is a love story, the idea behind this name is that love is so up and down and over the years love never changes.

Inspired by:

Joshua Reynolds, Cupid and Psyche, c.1789

Joshua Reynolds, Cupid and Psyche, c.1789

This late work by Sir Joshua Reynolds shows the mortal Psyche discovering the identity of her sleeping lover, the god Cupid. Reynolds uses the subject to explore nocturnal lighting effects. The light and shadows appear more dramatic after recent conservation work which removed many layers of discoloured varnish. This work was first shown at Somerset House, now home to The Courtauld Gallery, in 1789.