A new exhibit titled Sleeping Eros opens this week at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's named after the Hellenistic statue of Eros himself in infant form, fast asleep on his side. While the collection highlights similar works and adaptations from around the same era, we just can't stop thinking about how peaceful the snoozing God of Love looks in bronze. 

What is it about the act of sleeping that inspires the arts? For some artists, such as Picasso and Matisse, the sleeping figure was a recurring theme, and they depicted it often in portraits of dozing women, peasants and nymphs in repose. For others, like DalĂ­, it was the concept of what happens when you fall asleep, or dream, that inspired creativity.

Shakespeare once wrote "O sleep! O gentle sleep!" in his famous play, Henry IV. Whether depicting a model at rest or examining the fearful doom of eternal slumber, here are the 25 Most Iconic Artworks of People Sleeping.
 
(Sleeping Eros runs through June 23, 2013 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

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