Tag Archives: Painting

Guest Post: “Pygmalion and Galatea” by Jean-Léon Gérôme from The Joy of Museums

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Thank you to The Joy of Museums for this guest article about Pygmalion and Galatea. What happens when a sculptor falls in love with his work?

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Pygmalion and Galatea by Jean-Léon Gérôme

“Pygmalion and Galatea” by Jean-Léon Gérôme features the story from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, where the sculptor Pygmalion kisses his ivory statue Galatea, after the goddess, Aphrodite has brought her to life. In Ovid’s narrative, Pygmalion was a Cypriot sculptor who carved a woman out of ivory. Galatea  “she who is milk-white” is the name of the statue carved by Pygmalion. His figure was so beautiful and realistic that he fell in love with it. On Aphrodite’s festival day, Pygmalion made offerings at the altar of Aphrodite, and he made a wish. When he returned home, he kissed his ivory statue and found that its lips felt warm. Aphrodite had granted Pygmalion’s request; the ivory sculpture changed to a woman with Aphrodite’s (or Venus’ the Roman equivalent) blessing.

Jean-Léon Gérôme was a French painter and sculptor, and his oeuvre included historical paintings, Greek mythology, Orientalism and portraits in the academic painting tradition. In 1891 Gérôme made a marble sculpture of Pygmalion and Galatea, based on a plaster version he used as a model for the painting. He made several alternative versions of this painting, each presenting the subject from a different angle.

Reflections

  • Have you seen sculpture so lifelike that it seemed about to move?
  • Is the Pinocchio story a variant of this theme?
  • Is Shaw’s play Pygmalion a modern variant of the myth with a subtle hint of feminism?
  • The Pygmalion story has been the subject of notable paintings and poems. Which is your favourite?

Pygmalion and Galatea

  • Title:                    Pygmalion and Galatea
  • Artist:                  Jean-Léon Gérôme
  • Year:                    1890
  • Type:                   Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:      35 x 27 in. (88.9 x 68.6 cm)
  • Museum:            Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET

Jean-Léon Gérôme

  • Artist:                Jean-Léon Gérôme
  • Born:                 1824 – Vesoul, Haute-Saône, France
  • Died:                  1904 (aged 79) – Paris, France
  • Nationality:      French
  • Movement:       Academicism, Orientalism
  • Notable works:

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“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Michelangelo

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Creative Juice #95

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Creative Juice #95

Twelve articles to tickle your fancy.

Guest Post: Most Popular Paintings by The Joy of Museums

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Thank you to The Joy of Museums for today’s guest post.Van Eyck - Arnolfini Portrait

Most Popular Paintings

The Most Popular or Famous Paintings featured on “Joy of Museums” is derived from a list of paintings that are most searched for on web-based search engines.

Unfortunately, most modern paintings, such Picasso’s masterpieces and later artists remain under copyright restrictions. Thus photographs cannot be used to lead a feature post. Without a picture of the artwork being made available, we are restricted in featuring many modern artists. Approval to use images of copyrighted works have been requested and ‘Joy of Museums’ hopes to receive appropriate permissions in the future, to allow us to feature more recent art.

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“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.”  Vincent van Gogh

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Photo Credit: Jan van Eyck [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Creative Juice #91

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Creative Juice #91

Spend the weekend reading to inspire your art.

Guest Post: The Watcher by Donna from My OBT

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Many thanks for this article to Donna, who posts one beautiful thing on her blog every day.

 

Maxwell Whitmore

Maxwell “Coby” Whitmore was a commercial artist from Dayton, Ohio, who enjoyed a long and productive career as an illustrator and painter. His illustrations appeared on the covers of publications including The Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and Sports Illustrated. He contributed illustrations to many national and international ad campaigns as well.

Read the rest of this article here.

Creative Juice #90

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Creative Juice #90

Imaginative creations by artistic people:

Creative Juice #88

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Creative Juice #88

May these offerings be like a spring breeze to your spirit: