|Bernard Picart Sisyphus Pushing His Stone up a Mountain, 1731|
In Greek mythology was a king punished by being compelled to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity. Sisyphus was son of King Aeolus. Sisyphus promoted navigation and commerce, but was avaricious and deceitful, violating the laws of hospitality by killing travellers and guests.
Referred to by newspaperman in Lowry's short story 'In Le Havre'. Hence Lowry's joke of “Did you know a rolling stone gathers no moss, Mr Sisyphus?”