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
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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