“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,