The Wedding-Feast of Cupid and Psyche by Guilio Romano.
All the evidence suggests the Italian painter Guilano Romano (1499-1546) was one the earliest artists who can be defined as Mannerist in creative outlook. Romano's The Wedding-Feast of Cupid and Psyche (1532) includes subject-matter of a mythological nature, its staged in a highly theatrical setting and uses unusual perspective as well as eroticism; all of which are characteristics associated with Mannerist art.
The Wedding-Feast of Cupid and Psyche was also painted by Romano's teacher, Raphael. It is however only one of several fresco's painted by Romano on the walls on the
The lively and highly-stylized marriage-feast includes nymphs, fauns, satyrs, a drunken Silenus figure and what were at the time, rare and exotic animals, namely a camel and an elephant, both of which are centre-stage in Romano's fresco. Palazzo del Te at Mantua in Italy.
During the Renaissance new sources of myth such as Ovid's Metamorphoses and Hygenius' Fabulae became available to artists. It’s in the The Golden Ass by Apulieus, the sole surviving novel of the Roman-era, that the earliest literary source of the marriage of Cupid and Psyche can be found. Written sometime during the 2nd century C.E. the protagonist in The Golden Ass narrates upon his transformation into a donkey. The reader subsequently shares a donkey’s tribulations and perspective upon life which culminates during a ceremony of the cult of
Isis, in which the donkey-narrator eats a bunch of roses, resulting in his becoming human once more.