Pierre-Paul Prud'hon was known for his allegorical paintings. The winged youth holding a torch is probably Love, portrayed as the Roman god Cupid, and the female figure would then represent Friendship. The theme is most likely the union of these two ideals, indicated by their embrace.Prud'hon's inventive allegories often remain enigmatic, however, and other interpretations are possible. The rosy-skinned female figure may personify the art of painting and her pale companion the art of sculpture. Or the two may be Cupid and Psyche, whose love affair is recounted in antique Roman literature.