Rodin Works: Pygmalion and Galatea


For Pygmalion, King of Cyprus, who desperately adored the perfect ivory statue he had carved, his sculpture finally became alive. For Rodin as a sculptor, this subject naturally had a special significance. Like in 'The Hand of God' (1898), it offered him an opportunity to associate the art of sculpting or modelling with the creation of life.

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Pygmalion and GalateaIn this late marble work, however, the theme of adoration seems to prevail. A sitting Pygmalion is looking up to a standing Galatea. His head is nearly touching her belly - a constellation reminding of 'The eternal Idol' and Camille Claudel's 'Sakountala'.

The work was created around 1908 and purchased from Rodin by the American collector Thomas F. Ryan, who presented it to the Metropolitan Museum, New York.



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Last update of this page: 13.06.2004