Pygmalion

A statuary of Cyprus, who hated women and resolved never to marry, but fell in love with his own statue of the goddess Venus. At his earnest prayer the statue was vivified, and he married it. (Ovid: Metamorphoses, x.; Earthly Paradise, August.)

Few, like Pygmalion, doat on lifeless charms.
Or care to clasp a statue in their arms.

S. Jenyns: Art of Dancing, canto i.

In Gilbert's comedy of Pygmalion and Galatea, the sculptor is a married man, whose wife (Cynisca) was jealous of the animated statue (Galatea), which, after enduring great misery, voluntarily returned to its original state. This, of course, is mixing up two Pygmalions, wide as the poles apart.

John Marston wrote certain satires called The Metamorphoses of Pygmalion's Image. These satires were suppressed, and are now very rare.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Pygmalion from Fact Monster:

  • Pygmalion - Pygmalion Pygmalion . 1. In Greek mythology, king of Cyprus. He fell in love with a beautiful ...
  • George Bernard Shaw - George Bernard Shaw playwright, essayist, critic Born: 7/26/1856 Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland Nobel ...
  • Galatea, in Greek mythology - Galatea Galatea , in Greek mythology. 1. Sea nymph, daughter of Nereus and Doris. She was loved by ...
  • Dido - Dido Dido , in Roman mythology, queen of Carthage, also called Elissa. She was the daughter of a ...
  • Henry Sweet - Sweet, Henry Sweet, Henry, 1845–1912, English philologist and phonetician. An authority on ...

Related Content