Eugène Ernest Hillemacher, Psyche in Hell, 1865

In the story of Cupid and Psyche, Cupid’s mother Venus commands Psyche to undergo a series of trials, the third of which is to venture into the kingdom of the underworld and capture a dose of the queen’s beauty in a box. She has help along the way, instructing her to pass by a lame man, old women weaving, and a dead man swimming in the water without speaking to them. She brings money to pay Charon for the voyage across the river Styx and biscuits for Cerberus, the three-headed dog guarding hell. Psyche must not open the box along the way but after having achieved her goal, curiosity gets the best of her and she has a peek, whereupon she falls into a deep slumber. Don’t worry though – Cupid saves her in the end!

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