The Myth ( in my own words )
I recently came across to a really interesting painting of Jean-Leon representing one of my favourite myths of Galatea and Pygmalion.
According to the myth the famous Cypriot sculptor, Pygmalion, after he became discussed by the local prostitues and lost all interest in women decided to moved away from their company and presence. In his dissapointment he locked his self into his small studio and spent hours and hours doing what he always did and loved..After all, art was considered to him the only source of decency and love.As the days,months went by Pygmalion dedicated him self on the creation of a new sculpture,that seem to be nothing else than the creation of a new ideal woman figure.Soon he created Galatea, a beautiful statue of a woman out of ivory.
As the days went by Pygmalion spend endless hour working on his new statue that seem to became more and more beautiful as the days went by. Indeed Galatea was without a doupt the most beautiful woman that had ever lived or been carved.
His strokes and hammering day by day became more gentle as if he didnt want to hurt it.When his chisel stopped ringing,he realised that infront of him stood a figure of woman of such perfection that Pygmalion fall deeply in love with.
He spent hours talking to her,singing ,kissing ,he even brought her gifts ,warmed her up and loved her more than anyone else has ever loved.
Meanwhile Aphrodite the goddess of love and beauty was watching Pygmalion from a distance,she was enchanted by his love and affection to the sculpture- who never gave him anything back ,but just stood there decently ,frozen in time and eternity. She then raised her hand…made a quick gesture and vanished in the darkness..
Pygmalion woke up the next morning wondering about the weird dream he saw and then runed to his love fearing that something bad happened.And then…right in front of his eyes Galatea’s hand moved towards his face…Her touch..her touch seemed warmed and smooth..! Pygmalion touched her hand with slow movements and leaned infront to kiss her libs..He then realised Aphrodite the goddess who appeared into his dream gave him the gift he always asked for..Galatea the love of his life,was not a sculpture anymore,but a woman ! a really living woman!!
Pygmalion and Galateas lived happily ever after,their love was the greatest and the strongest of all, and soon enough,they brought into the world their son, Paphos.
Notes / Thoughts :
-. Its interesting to add that the artist has painted himself as Pygmalion the sculptor .In my opinion the relatinship between the painter – Jean-Leon representing and the actual painting him self has a lot of simillarities with the relationship of Pygmalion and Galatea.The artist was so drawned at the story that he seemed to paint him self in it as Pygmalion.I believe that y emotion is an attribute of this painting, but or even cleared the emotion is the painting.
– The gaze of objects