Modern Art Monday Presents: Jean-Léon Gerome, Pygmalion and Galatea

Pygmalion and Galatea
Photo By Gail

Between 1890 and 1892, Jean-Léon Gerome (1824 – 1904) made both painted and sculpted variations of the theme of Pygmalion and Galatea, the tale recounted in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. All depict the moment when the sculpture of Galatea was brought to life by the goddess Venus, in fulfillment of Pygmalion’s wish for a wife as beautiful as the sculpture he created. This is one of three known versions in oil that are closely related to a polychrome marble sculpture, also fashioned by Gerome (located at Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA). In each of the paintings, the sculpture appears at a different angle, as though is was being viewed in the round.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art on NYC.

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