Bouguereau executed this painting in the same year as his famous 1892 entry for the Paris Salon, Le Guepier, or Invading Cupid's Realm. Both pictures constitute an important part of the artist's oeuvre which Bouguereau referred to as tableaux de fantasie. These paintngs describe the artist's response to the classical poems dedicated to Eros and Psyche. These myths seem to have been the perfect subject for Bouguereau's art of beautiful forms and harmonious colors. The fantasies are also perhaps, in part, reveries since the artist was known to keep the poetry of Ovid and Virgil at his bedside.
Marius Vachon states in his monograph on the artist:
"Les fantaisies qui ont pour titre: Le Guepier, L'Assaut, La Lutte, Chanson's de Printemps, Eveil du Coeur, etc., etc., ont été imaginées, nullement pour éveiller de isées voluptueuses, mais en vue de l'invention d'arrangements, gracieux et delicats."
It is not surprising to learn of Bouguereau's great admiration for the painter Boucher who also found in the subject of Eros expression of infinite pictorial variations. Compared to Boucher, however, Bouguereau's paintngs exhibit a characteristic restraint and decorum, and they are rarely narrative but, rather, emotive and evocative like the poetry from which the artist drew his inspiration.
The technical precision of the painting's execution combined with the perfect balance of color, arabesque and notan support Bouguereau's well-deserved reputation as the culmination of the great academic tradition of painting in the 19th century.
This painting was authenticated by the late Mark Steven Walker.