King Midas

In Greek mythology, King Midas was offered a favour from the gods so he chose that everything he touched would turn to gold. At first he loved his new gift but he soon changed his mind. Any food he touched turned to gold before he could eat and he went hungry.

Walter Crane, 1893
In some versions of the tale he even turned his own daughter into solid gold when he went to comfort her, leaving him in despair. Eventually he begged Dionysus to relieve him of what he now saw as a curse rather than a gift. The phrase 'Midas touch' is inspired by this myth.

Arthur Rackham