Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Pygmalion and Galatea

Artist:
Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon)
Date:
modeled 1889, carved ca. 1908–9
Culture:
French
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
Overall (wt. confirmed): 38 1/4 × 35 × 30 in., 1068 lb. (97.2 × 88.9 × 76.2 cm, 484.4 kg)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Thomas F. Ryan, in memory of William M. Laffan, 1910
Accession Number:
10.31
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 800
According to classical mythology, the sculptor Pygmalion so desired a marble woman he had carved that Venus, the goddess of love, granted her life. Rodin depicts the statue of Galatea quickening at the sculptor’s touch, her glowing body emerging from unfinished stone. Yet this Pygmalion is not the handsome youth of tradition, but rather a stocky, bearded man resembling Rodin, whose name is prominently inscribed next to the mythical sculptor’s on the side of the base. In his quest to endow his figures with living force, Rodin regarded himself as a modern Pygmalion.

Pygmalion and Galatea is one of six Rodin marbles that came to The Met in 1910 through Thomas Fortune Ryan.
Signature: Signed: A. Rodin

Inscription: Inscribed: Pygmalion
Thomas Fortune Ryan (until 1910; to MMA)
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