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Psyche Crossing the Styx

© the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Victoria Art Gallery

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John Armstrong (1893–1973) painted imaginative and classical subjects. His approach to painting was systematic – he normally started in the top left-hand corner and worked across and down, finishing every part as he progressed. In the 1930s, after seeing the work of the Surrealist painter de Chirico, Armstrong’s style became increasingly dreamlike. Armstrong also painted stage sets and murals, including a ceiling painting for Bristol’s council chamber.

In Greek mythology, the River Styx separated the world of the living from that of the dead. The only way to cross was with the ferryman, Charon. Here we see Psyche, the human lover of the god Cupid, being taken across the river.

Victoria Art Gallery



Psyche Crossing the Styx




tempera on board


H 64 x W 36 cm

Accession number

BATVG : P : 1980.4

Acquisition method

gift from the Contemporary Art Society (Harold Paine Widdup Bequest), 1964

Work type



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Victoria Art Gallery

Bridge Street, Bath, Somerset BA2 4AT England

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