This sculpture depicts Psyche, the goddess of the soul and the wife of Eros (Roman Cupid), the god of love.
She was once a mortal princess whose extraordinary beauty earned the ire ofAphrodite (Roman Venus) when men began turning their worship away from the goddess towards the girl. Aphrodite commanded Eros to make Psyche fall in love with the most hideous of men but the god instead fell in love and carried her off to his hidden palace. Eros hid his true identity and told Psykhe she must never gaze upon his face. Her jealous sisters, however, tricked her into disobeying and the angry god forsook her. Psykhe searched the world for her lost love and eventually came into the service of Aphrodite. The goddess commanded her to perform a series of seemingly impossible tasks which culminated in a journey to the Underworld. Psykhe was afterwards reunited with Eros and the couple were married in a ceremony attended by all the gods.
Psykhe was depicted in ancient mosaic art as a butterfly-winged woman in the company of her husband Eros. Sometimes a pair of Pyskhai (Psychae) were depicted--the second perhaps representing their daughter Hedone (Pleasure).