Know your arts.
The Sandman TV adaptation is full of various Easter eggs, but the closer fans look into the series as they wait for Netflix to greenlight the second season, the more parallels and references they spot.
The parallel between one of the episode 1 shots of Tom Sturridge's Dream and a very famous academic art painting by Alexandre Cabanel is one of such references for sure. Many people have spotted just how similar the shot from The Sandman is to the iconic painting titled Fallen Angel — an artistic take on the emotions felt by Lucifer when he was cast out of Heaven.
While Dream is nothing like Lucifer in the series, his situation is pretty similar: captured by a mortal for dozens of years, he is clearly feeling betrayed and outraged. Bound by a spell cast by Roderick Burgess, Morpheus did not spew a single word over the years he spent in imprisonment.
Cabanel painted Fallen Angel in 1847, historically creating one of the first religious pictures that had the devil as the subject matter. Among his other notable works are The Birth of Venus (1863), and The Death of Moses (1850).
It's unclear whether the similarity between Cabanel's painting and The Sandman shots was intentional. In the series, Morpheus was mistaken for Death when Burgess captured him seeking immortality; and shortly after he finally broke free, he did look intimidating enough to be mixed up with the actual devil when he punished Burgess' son for being complacent.
Cabanel's work of art is arguably one of the most renowned in the world, so it would be only natural for The Sandman creators to intentionally parallel one of the shots with the painting.
The Sandman is currently streaming on Netflix, with the network still tight-lipped on the show's future despite fans' demands to finally renew the adaptation of Neil Gaiman's iconic graphic novel for another season.