Tantalus offered his own son as a sacrifice to the gods. At first welcomed by them, he was later thrown out of Olympus. His punishment in Hades was to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches, with the fruit ever eluding his grasp, and the water always receding before he could take a drink. His name is associated with a situation of temptation without satisfaction (the source of the English word "tantalize.")
In my painting, I think of the many women who have had to choose between their families and their careers, often offering their children to "the gods," only to be punished as their goal stays just beyond their grasp -- the "glass ceiling."