Psyche - Kossos Ioannis

Kossos Ioannis (1822 - 1873)

Psyche, 1858

Marble, 48 x 26 x 23 cm

Donated by Ioannis A. Karavas and N.G. Charitos families

Inv. Number Π.4100
On view National Glyptotheque

Ioannis Kossos was one of the first modern Greek sculptors to graduate from the Athens School of Arts and fashioned his style in the neoclassicist spirit that the German sculptor Christian Siegel brought to Greece. His subject matter included busts, statues, funerary monuments and allegorical compositions, or inspired by antiquity. To this last category belong the two youthful figures that symbolize Eros and Psyche, carrying on the tradition that started in antiquity and reappeared in European neoclassicist sculpture.

For the rendering of this subject, Kossos elected to carve two separate heads which could stand on their own as autonomous works, while at the same time they had a direct connection to each other and where the one supplemented the other. “Eros” is presented as being somewhere between an adolescent and a man, with an expression proud and self-confident, his lips half-open and his head turned to the left, toward “Psyche”. “Psyche” is presented in the form of a young woman, her head pulled back voluptuously, surrendering to the charms of Eros.

The rendering of these two figures is done according to the neoclassicist tradition, with the consequent affectation in pose and expression, the nudity of the bodies and the soft and smooth framing of the surfaces, without fluctuations, and emphasis on details.