Showing posts with label Pygmalion and Galatea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pygmalion and Galatea. Show all posts

Thursday, October 3, 2013

History mystery: Pygmalion and Galatea



A talented and handsome sculptor by the name Pygmalion, from Cyprus in ancient Greek had some bad experience with few local prostitutes and had lost interest in girls which lead him to make a resolution, never to get involved with any woman. He considered woman as flawed creatures and stayed away from them. He got immersed in his art and vowed never to marry since he had no time for girls. He would spend hours carving beautiful ivory statues and was very passionate with his art. Once he choose to work on a renowned piece of art and got engaged in chiseling and hammering until he ended up in a beautiful statue of a woman and fell in love with his creation. His masterpiece or his work of art happened to be a woman whom he was trying to create and correct the flaws he found in a woman. His passion for sculptor and to stay away from woman, with all intent and purpose drove him in carving one of the most beautiful statues of a woman which after its final creation made him so obsessed with the statue that he fell in love with it.

His sculptured work was a perfect resemblance of a beautiful maiden and Pygmalion admired his own work and often laid his hands on it to reassure him that it was only an image made of ivory. He named her Galatea and was often found caressing it and gave presented it with bright shells, polished stones, flowers of various hues, amber, beads etc. He also put jewels on its fingers, raiment on its limbs along with necklace around its neck with earrings on the ears. He would deck the statue as one would present a young love with gifts. As he gazed on Galatea, he often wished that he would have a wife similar to Galatea but who would be full of life. The festival of Venus, Aphrodite - the goddess of love, was at hand which was a festival celebrated with great pomp by the people at Cyprus offering burnt offering at the altar with the air filled with the odor of incense. As Pygmalion performed his offering of sacrificing a bull, he stood before the altar and prayed secretly for a wife like Galatea whom he could love as a living being and not an ivory statue.

Aphrodite the goddess of love who was present at the festival heard his uttered prayer and out of pity gave him a sign with his burnt offering. The sign was, that his flames shot up three times in a fiery point in the air. But Pygmalion was unaware of this indication and went home wondering on the sign that he had seen during his offering at the temple. Still wondering and pondering over this manifestation he had seen in the temple he went to his statue to embrace it and was amazed to feel the warmth of the ivory statue. It took him some time to realize that the ivory statue had turned alive and that his prayer uttered in the temple had been answered. When he laid his hands on the statue, the ivory felt soft and smooth and yielded to his touch. While he stood spellbound, astonished as well as glad though full of doubts thinking that he was mistaken to consider an ivory statue turnied to be alive. As he watched in amazement, Galatea began to move and stretched her arms as though she had woken up after a deep slumber, stepped out of her pedestal and ran towards him into his arms. He touched her again and again to make sure his statue had become alive.

He was overcome with joy and kissed Galatea who reciprocated him followed by her loving gaze and their nuptials was solemnized by Venus with her blessings. From this union, Paphos was born and the city of Paphos in Cyprus, which was sacred to Venus, got its name. Pugmalion and Galatea brought gifts to the temple of Aphrodite all through their life as thanksgiving who blessed them with happiness and love in return. This amazing and unusual love story which blossomed between Pygmalion and Galatea surprises all, where Pygmalion after his beautiful creation of a woman, who had vowed never to engage or get involved with any women or marry her, fell in love with his ivory statue and got the benefit of his desire through the goddess of love. Many artist have been inspired by the mythology of Pygmalion and Galatea and have used the story of inspiration for their work some of which are funny, some creepy and some wonderful. George Bernard Shaw was one of those inspired by the myth who wrote the play Pygmalion based on it and the musical My Fair Lady was based on his play. In his play the girls is brought to life by the speech of two men whose goal is for her to marry and become the duchess giving a spin to its original story with a hint of feminism.