Artist: John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836 – 1893)
Medium: Oil on panel
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In Greek mythology Endymion was a beautiful youth who spent much of his life in perpetual sleep. Zeus offered him anything that he might desire, and Endymion chose an everlasting sleep in which he might remain youthful forever. According to another version of the myth, Endymion’s eternal sleep was a punishment inflicted by Zeus because he had ventured to fall in love with Zeus’s wife, Hera. In any case, Endymion was loved by Selene, the goddess of the moon, who visited him every night while he lay asleep in a cave on Mount Latmus in Caria; she bore him 50 daughters. A common form of the myth represents Endymion as having been put to sleep by Selene herself so that she might enjoy his beauty.