Coronis and the Crow Picture
Coronis, daughter of Phlegyas, King of the Lapiths, was one of Apollo's lovers. While Apollo was away, Coronis, already pregnant with Asclepius, fell in love with Ischys, son of Elatus. A white crow which Apollo had left to guard her informed him of the affair and Apollo, enraged that the bird had not pecked out Ischys' eyes as soon as he approached Coronis, flung a curse upon it so furious that it scorched its feathers, which is why all crows are black. Apollo sent his sister, Artemis, to kill Coronis because he could not bring himself to. Afterward Apollo, feeling dejected, only regained his presence of mind when Coronis' body was already aflame on a funeral pyre. Upon a sign from Apollo, Hermes cut the unborn child out of her womb and gave it to the centaur Chiron to raise. Hermes then brought her soul to Tartarus.