In Greek and Roman mythology, Psyche was the youngest daughter of the king and queen of Sicily. She was the most beautiful person on the island and suitors flocked to ask for her hand. In the end she boasted that she was more beautiful than Aphrodite (Venus) herself, and Aphrodite sent Eros to transfix her with an arrow of desire and make her fall in love with the nearest person or thing available. But even Eros (Cupid) fell in love with her and took her to a secret place and eventually married her and had her made a goddess by Zeus (Jupiter).
Psyche's butterfly motif is a play on words. The word "psyche," along with being a character's name, can also mean "butterfly" and "soul." The goddess Psyche and souls were thus frequently depicted with butterfly wings.