Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808)
Cupid and Psyche, c.1792

Pen and brown ink with bodycolour and graphite on paper, 32 x 25.5 cm
Purchased, 2005

This is a study for an oil painting (NGI 1342) exhibited in Dublin in 1800. Hamilton was probably inspired to undertake this mythological theme by Antonio Canova (1757-1822), who created marble sculptures of Cupid and Psyche in Rome in the 1790s. The graphite overdrawing shows that Hamilton experimented with the placement of the limbs of both figures. A very similar, unsigned drawing of the same subject exists in the collection of Smith College Art Museum, Northampton, Massachusetts. Currently attributed to Bartolomeo Pinelli (1781-1835), it is most likely a slightly earlier study by Hamilton.

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