Instead she was taken to the god of love Cupid who, without disclosing his person to her, made love to Psyche nightly. Using oil on canvas, Leighton painted The Bathe of Psyche which dates back to 1890 and his eye for detail for nudes shows off Psyche's flawless, ivory body it could almost be mistaken for a photograph and he has produced a fine example of Psyche preparing herself to bathe before Cupid’s return.
Centre stage is Psyche adorning a pure white, luxurious linen whilst glancing at her own form in the still waters below. Her slim figure with all its perfect curves she looks dreamy and longingly downwards. Psyche’s short, brunette curls are subtly held back by a golden clip. Her petite facial features, with a touch of subtle make up, draw the viewer to the pool before her as she looks downwards. At her feet, turquoise garments and a golden cloth drapes itself, almost snake like, past the cooling tiles into the warming waters below whilst the calm depths reflecting Psyche’s lower legs seductively.
A bronzed jug snugly sits on the tiled floor just behind Psyche seeming to peek its way behind the fabric. The jug depicting the decadence and opulence of this piece of art. Stark marble steps behind Psyche lend the eye towards pillars of grandeur that stand to attention with their golden ends gleaming richly amongst the velvety, rich curtains which encase Psyche into this cellular scene. Doves sit in various points preening themselves almost mocking the innocence of the scene before them. High behind Psyche a small section of the painting is taken by skyline. Above the drapes, wispy clouds dance around an aqua blue sky which brings the reality of the outside world into the bathing area.
The whole painting cleverly from the top draws itself vertically down towards the bathing area using the rigid columns, hanging drapes, marble steps, flowing materials and finally Psyche herself. Leighton's inspiration for this oil painting could have been from the Capodimonte Museum in Naples. There stands the Callipygian Venus a Greek statue. This famous piece is renowned for its reveal of the naked womanly form. Standing at nearly two metres high and over half a metre wide this thought provoking piece can be perused at the Tate, London.