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Inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, this painting finished in 1890 is now in possession of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It portrays a passage from the Roman’s work where Pygmalion, the sculptor, and king of Cyprus, kisses Galatea, his statue of the ideal woman, which has been brought to life by the goddess of love Aphrodite, fulfilling his wish to have a wife as beautiful and pure as the statue he had created, since he believed all women to be wicked.
Based on a polychrome marble statue of his own making, which was probably used as the model for Galatea, this is one of three oil painting portraying different views of the same scene. For Pygmalion, Gérôme would have used the likeness of his father. Interestingly, Gérôme himself thought of the theme as banal and unoriginal, according to a letter he wrote to his biographer, and his dedication to the subject matter was born of an attempt at rejuvenating it.
Such opinion would not be unexpected from Gérôme since depictions of Roman literary passages were the mainstay of Academic Classicism. In this version, Gérôme places the statue and its creator in the center of the composition, with the miraculous cupid, herald of Aphrodite, with his traditional bow and arrow nocked to shoot at the lovers. An interesting aspect of this is that the Cupid is yet to fire, meaning that, even though they are kissing, Galatea is not in love with her creator yet, which is reinforced by the position of her left hand and the forcefulness with which Pygmalion holds her.
In fact, the statuesque woman still hasn’t completely become human in the moment of the portrayal, the transition between stone and flesh is running down her body, emanating from her creator’s lips. Such transformation is one of the technical high points of the painting because of how lifelike it is made by Gérôme’s brush, from texture to how the light bounces off the different materials, sharper on marble, softer of flesh.
The scene takes place in Pygmalion’s studio, as is visible from the materials and unfinished pieces are strewn about the space. In the back wall of the studio, there is a painting depicting a scene of surrender. That painting reflects what the artist is representing to be next logical step for the scene: Galatea being struck by the Cupid’s arrow and ending her resistance to Pygmalion’s approaches.
Real Oil Paints, Real Brushes, Real Artists, Real Art. The Certificate of Authenticity which arrives with every painting provides an assurance and verifies the authenticity of the hand painted fine art reproduction you purchased. Each oil painting is created by hand using only the finest canvas and oil paints available.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Pygmalion and Galatea, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Pygmalion and Galatea that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
Free shipping is included in the price of the painting. Once the painting is ready and dry enough to ship, we will roll it and ship it in a sturdy cardboard tube.
We always ship express via courier to ensure your order reaches you as soon as possible - normally within three business days. The total delivery time from the moment you place your order until the package is delivered to your door is normally between three to four weeks.
If, in the unlikely event you were dissatisfied with the painting after reviewing it in person, it can be returned for a full refund for up to 365 days after delivery.
When you receive the painting; you are free to return it for more revisions or else for a full refund minus our actual shipping cost -- which is, on average, $25 per painting.
1st Art Gallery provides a full warranty covering manufacturing and material defects for paintings purchased from our website. The warranty covers damage for normal use. Damage caused by incidents such as accidents or inappropriate use are not covered.
Depending on the degree of damage to the warranted painting, it will either be repaired or replaced. This warranty service is provided free of charge.
When purchasing a painting on its own, it will arrive rolled inside a secure tube with an extra 1.5" of white canvas on all sides so you can easily frame it in any local frame shop.
You may choose to purchase your painting framed, in which case, it will arrive "ready to hang". We offer more than 20 beautiful models, all hand finished and expertly assembled by our experienced framers.
Note that for safety reasons we can only frame up to a certain size. Once the maximum size is reached the framing option is automatically disabled.
If you are planning to frame your painting yourself,
use an existing frame, or frame it locally, you may choose to order your painting with a stretching service,
meaning that it will arrive mounted on wooden bars.
If you're considering not framing your painting at all, you may opt for a Gallery Wrap. The term Gallery Wrap refers to the way the canvas is stretched, which is by wrapping it around thick stretcher bars, about 1.5 inch thick, with the canvas being secured to the back rather than the sides of those bars.
All orders ship with UPS, FedEx or DHL and will arrive directly to your home or office. A tracking number will be emailed to you as soon as the order leaves our studio so you can track it online. All orders ship express and usually arrive within 4-5 days from the shipping date. Due to shipping restraints, many of our framed, stretched, and oversize paintings may take 6-21 days for arrival depending on the safest route determined by the postal service.