Agostino Veneziano, Psyche looking at Cupid, from The Story of Cupid and Psyche as told by Apuleius. Italian, c. 1530-1560. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Rogers Fund, Transferred from the Library, 1941.

The erotics of classical stories could also lend themselves to a bedroom setting. This engraving illustrates the central scene from the story of Cupid and Psyche, a tale of desire and forbidden knowledge.

Psyche, forbidden to look upon a nocturnal visitor to her bedchamber, cannot resist lighting a lamp, revealing him to be the god of love himself. Startled, she stumbles back and pricks herself on one of his arrows, and is at once seized with desire. But Cupid wakes, and flees out of the window, even as she tries to hold him back. Here, unusually, the voyeuristic gaze penetrating the curtains of the bed-space is female – though the equally voyeuristic gaze of the artist/viewer remains most interested in her naked body.