A Night with a Sarcophagus


“Spend five minutes with this sarcophagus and you’ll witness a whole night—and a passionate one at that. Zeus, somewhat put out because Selene (goddess of the moon) had fallen in love with the mortal Endymion, cast the beautiful young man into an eternal sleep. But that didn’t stop Selene from visiting her beloved every night. You can see her at the center of this sarcophagus as darkness falls, stepping off from her chariot. But as you look to the right, beyond the slumbering Endymion, the next day begins to dawn (too soon!), and the horses must rush the goddess of the moon away, until the next evening’s amorous encounter.”

Recommended viewing for slowartday from our antiquities curator, David Saunders.

To zoom in and let your “eyes” wander, click here.

Sarcophagus panel (detail), about A.D. 210, Roman. Marble, 84 1/4 in. long x 21 3/8 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 

Art, Society

Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It



Experts told this artist her dream was impossible. It’s a good thing she didn’t listen.


I love stories like this. When people just have a level of determination, spirit, and sense of self that drives them forward in the face of any opposition. People like this inspire me to not give up, and to keep trying, keep reaching for things that I want, that may at the time seem to be out of my reach. What an amazing example of showing people it’s okay — sometimes better than okay — to be different.

Art, Society

Syrian Artists Make Guinness Book of World Records


Hats off to these six Syrian artists who have made it into the Guinness Book of World Records – and given a Damascus primary school something to be proud of. They’ve fashioned the world’s largest mural made from scrap. Why? “Damascus is wounded and sad… and creating something beautiful from rubbish means that we can rebuild despite the destruction.” Read the article, via BuzzFeed:

Art, Crafts, Do It Yourself Projects

Decorated Vases (Sharpie Paint Markers)

Check out these wine glasses, made using Sharpie Paint Markers/Pens, and baking them in an oven to make them waterproof… Gorgeous, unique and clever. A fantastic DIY project for an artistic afternoon.

Decorated Vases (Sharpie Paint Markers)

Art, Books, Fairy Tales

A Tale as Old as Time

I really love this concept art of Beauty and the Beast. It’s so wonderfully gothic and brings the art from the Disney movie to mind to me. Cudos to the artists and the wonderfully dark edgy vibe of these images.

I’ve always thought of Belle as one of the smartest young ladies in the fairy tale genre. While her story was never my favorite (I found myself more drawn to other tales, such as Sleeping Beauty) I have always appreciated her as someone too modern for her time. When you see her, she definitely comes off as the outcast book nerd of her social group and to that, I can absolutely relate. Most people don’t know but the story of Beauty and the Beast that we know best today was actually a novel by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, and was written in France back in 1740. Of course the “human falling in love with a ‘beast'” story is quite familiar in the world of fairy tales and fables, with versions showing up in popular collections by people like Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm for centuries before that.

Such stories run rampant in Greek mythology as well. Perhaps one of the most famous from that time-period (and consequentially, one of my personal favorites) is the story of Cupid and Psyche (or Eros and Psyche — Cupid’s Greek incarnation). *le sigh*

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss, created by Antonio Canova in 1793 Photo taken by Josie Campbell in 2005
Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss, created by Antonio Canova in 1793
Photo taken by Josie Campbell in 2005

So as the story goes, Psyche is an incredibly beautiful mortal with 2 really jealous sisters. She’s so pretty she even makes Aphrodite (Venus in Roman mythology) jealous. Aphrodite calls on her son Eros to punish Psyche but he falls in love with her instead. Using some divine help he takes her away to a beautiful palace, but she is not allowed to look upon him. He only visits her in the dark. *wink, wink!*

When her family wishes for news of her, Eros brings her sisters for a visit. They convince her that since she’s not allowed to see him, he must be a monster and she should sneak a peak at him while he’s sleeping to make sure, and if he is, kill him. So she does, but drips wax on him when she sees how gorgeous he is and he disappears. Psyche is devastated.

Here's another (better lit) look at Canova's sculpture, located at the Louvre.
Here’s another (better lit) look at Canova’s sculpture, located at the Louvre.

She looks to the gods for help but Aphrodite is the only one who will answer her. She devises impossible tasks for Psyche to complete in order to be reunited with her lover. She does so with the aid of all sorts of creatures and pieces of nature and many of the gods take pity on her as well. In her last trial it is Eros himself who aids her and he goes to Zeus (aka Jupiter) and asks him to make Psyche a goddess so that they can be together. Zeus grants the request and Eros and Psyche marry. It’s one of the few ‘happily ever after’ stories in mythology.

There are centuries of artwork depicting this story for the world. The majority of it is usually told through paintings or tapestries. But as you can see above, my favorite is the sculpture done by Antonio Canova in 1793. For a funnier version of this story illustrated with artwork of the myth that has been created throughout history, go here.

Art, Books

Book Cover Art: Polgara the Sorceress

Image courtesy of Pinterest, this art is from one of my all-time favorite covers: Polgara the Sorceress by David and Leigh Eddings. This cover is what first interested me in the Belgariad and Mallorean series that he wrote. I highly recommend checking it out!