According to Roman legend, Diana, Goddess of the hunt, used to come and kiss the shepherd youth, Endymion, when he was asleep on the top of the mountain each night.
Diana's light touch partly drew Endymion from his slumber and he caught a brief glance of her. Incredulous at her beauty, he attributed it to a dream and began to prefer his dreamlike state over mundane daily routines, yet he was never awake when she was present. Through the love and favour of the Goddess, Endymion was granted eternal youth and timeless beauty, but not lasting conscious recognition of her.
In this beautifully poetic painting, Endymion, by George Frederick Watts (1817 - 1904), the English Victorian Symbolist painter and sculptor, Diana, here representing the Moon, swoops down on the languid male figure with the purpose and urgency of the Huntress. The blurred softness of the silver-blue paint of her robes conjures up the concept of the Goddess in the form of diaphanous moonlight enfolding and capturing the sleeping youth in her total embrace.
Song to the Moon (A. Dvorak - Rusalka) sung by Anna Netrebko.
Courtesy of Pavel Rsyavy.