This piece is a reduced-size plaster replica of Canova’s second version of his ideal marble group Cupid and Psyche which was commissioned by Prince Nikolai Borisovich Yusupov in 1796 and can now be seen in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. This version differs from Canova’s first version of Cupid and Psyche (completed 1793) which is in the Louvre’s collection. For instance, in the 1793 version Psyche is only covered by a thin strip of fabric, whereas in the second, 1796, version her legs are almost entirely covered by a sheet of fabric. Overall the composition of this piece is based on smooth rhythmic lines, the harmony of figures and graceful gestures which culminate to create an overarching tone of decorativeness.

It is not known who made this particular plaster copy; Canova, however,  was one of the most talented exponents of the Roman school of sculpture and today remains one of the most acclaimed Neoclassical sculptors in Western art.