Art Spotlight: Arthur Rackham's Pandora


Pandora's Box by Arthur Rackham © Lebrecht Music & Arts/Corbis

I picked this illustration by Arthur Rackham for our classic episode on mystery boxes as Pandora's Box stands as the most mythically potent mystery box of all time.

Perhaps you remember the story? The Greek God gave Pandora, Earth's first woman, a mysterious box and ordered her not to open it. But of course her curiosity won out, and all the evils of the world escaped when she lifted the lid. It's much like another famous myth that involves a primordial do-not-touch request from creator to the created.

Arthur Rackham (1867 - 1939) is a legend of the illustration world. You'll find a nice overview of the man and his work right here.


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.