• No earlier than 1805
  • Drawing


  • For thousands of years the butterfly has been seen as an image of the soul and its immortality. In the Hellenistic period Cupid was portrayed as the one who pursues – and at times torments – the soul in the shape of a butterfly. In Greek the original meaning of psyche is life, later also spirit or soul; and it is also the name of a butterfly. Thorvaldsen used the motifs several times. He was for example familiar with it from his fine collection of antique gems.