Thursday, September 11, 2014

Opening the Box

As a child when I read the Greek myth about Pandora, I didn't have a lot of patience with her. My attitude was pretty much like the guy in Walter Crane's illustration:

Pandora Opens The Box
by Walter Crane

But now that I have kids and pets, I have more sympathy with youthful blunders. Our puppy Lucy, for example, has a real weakness for my plants. As in, they smell delicious and are just right for chewing. I have asked her to leave them alone, but clearly, just telling her to avoid temptation is not going to do the trick.

Obviously a lot more is at stake in Pandora's case, but she doesn't know that, does she? I think maybe that's why Frederick S. Church's version is a particular favorite of mine. The poor thing has realized what she's done and is trying to close the box back up.

Opened up a Pandora's box
Frederick Stuart Church

More Pandora, starting with Waterhouse's version, which seems like it would be captioned "I'll just take a little peek":

by John William Waterhouse

by Odilon Redon

by Alexandre Cabanel

Pandora porcelain plate
After Charles Lenoir. Signed: O. Dietrich.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

by Helen Stratton - A book of myths (1915)

Detail of terracotta vessel with Pandora myth
photo by Pilar Torres

Pandora's Box
by Andrew Junge


Pop said...

I agree with your comments about the Crane, Church, and Waterhouse versions (and they're beautifully done as well!).

But the one that intrigues me the most is the Dante Gabriel Rossetti one. Pandora looks like she's barely opened it and the bad things are spewing out and almost forming a halo around her. Yet she seems either unconcerned or even doing it on purpose. Either way, it really seems peculiar to me.

Diane Mayr said...

These are fascinating, Tabatha!