The book presents the reflections and artistic implications which have accompanied Apuleius' story of "Eros and Psyche", for over two thousand years, revealing it is still a myth of remarkable contemporary relevance. The book contains a historical and critical analysis of the myth conducted using the innovative instruments furnished by the psychology of art.
The story of Eros and Psyche has enjoyed great popularity in Italy and Europe ever since the fifteenth century, becoming an indispensable source for artists, philosophers, scholars and psychologists, who have followed each other in their illustration and exegesis of the myth. Numerous twentieth century artists drew explicitly on the fable, revealing close conceptual affinities or even making it an occasion of patronage. They include Edvard Munch, Alberto Savinio, Marcel Duchamp, Piero Manzoni, Yves Klein, Gina Pane, Louise Bourgeois, Jannis Kounellis, Kiki Smith, Vanessa Beecroft, Matthew Barney and Björk, Cy Twombly, Gino De Dominicis, Maurizio Mochetti, Gianfranco Baruchello, Paola Gandolfi, Marina Abramovic, Vincenzo Agnetti, Richard Long, Tracey Emin, Jenny Saville, Damien Hirst and Piotr Uklanski. The first part of this book contains a historical and critical analysis of the myth. In the second part, in colour, the story of Apuleius runs parallel with the masterpieces chosen, like a veritable storyboard divided into the phases of Aristotelian narrative: opening, peripateia and resolution. The third part, finally, consists in an accurate catalogue of works which are analyzed individually and directly related to the myth.