By the sweet wound of thy piercing darts, . . . revenge the injury which is done to thy mother, by the false and disobedient beauty of a mortal maiden . . . that she may fall in love with the most miserable creature living, the most poor, the most crooked, and the most vile . . .
In an event from one of the greatest love stories in Greek mythology, Cupid stands with his arrow poised to strike, while his mother Venus points to his target, the mortal Psyche. Because of Psyche's beauty, people had begun to worship her rather than Venus. Outraged at this mortal usurping her honor, Venus commanded Cupid to avenge her. Cupid, however, foiled his mother's plans, and Psyche did not fall in love with any such wretched creature. Having pricked himself with his own arrow so that he would love Psyche, Cupid protected her. His enraged mother subjected the lovers to many trials before their eventual marriage.
Pieter van Lint copied this subject from the corner of a curved ceiling in a Roman villa that was painted by Raphael's pupils in 1518. He accurately repeated the foreshortening of the figures, but he exaggerated the voluminous proportions of the female nude.