This picture is Eros and Psyche.  It goes with Plato’s  quote above in a round about way… Eros, who represents Love, has wings already.  Psyche, who represents the human soul, does not have wings but is excruciatingly beautiful.  So much so that Venus (the mother of Eros) becomes horribly jealous and tries to ruin Psyche’s life only to be foiled by the fact of  her son falling helplessly in love with her.   So how does Psyche (the soul) grow wings upon contemplating beauty?  I will summarize but the story is well worth reading (here).  Psyche is wonderfully happily married to Eros without ever laying eyes on him or knowing who he is – a minor pre-nup stipulation!  So she enjoys night after night with her mystery lover/husband in ultimate marital bliss until her meddling sisters convince her that it is all a trick and he is really a hideous monster and she must find out and kill him etc..  So she lights a lamp while he is asleep and takes a peek and is blown away by his beauty.  She gets a little too close and her lamp drips oil on him.  He awakens and flies away wounded more by her treachery than the oil.


Venus, using this betrayal as a reason to punish Psyche, then puts her on a grueling, literlly impossible path of redemption. Luckily the gods understand the unfairness of Venus’ revenge and help Psyche complete her tasks.  In the end, after trekking down to Hades and back, Zeus feels she has earned her place in the heavens with her husband Eros.

01greek psyche and Eros

So, in the end Psyche (the soul) has grown wings presumably from contemplating both the physical and spiritual beauty of her husband Eros… and if that’s not beautiful and amzing enough, they have a child which is called Pleasure !