Jean-Léon Gérôme. Letter.  [Engl. transl. published in Fanny Field Hering, "The Life and Works of Jean Léon Gérôme," New York, 1892, p. 283], remarks that he has begun a painting of "Pygmalion and Galatea," calling it a very hackneyed subject that he is trying to rejuvenate; describes its depiction of the statue coming to life.
Jean-Léon Gérôme. Letter to Fanny Field Hering. November 1890 [English transl. published in Fanny Field Hering, "The Life and Works of Jean Léon Gérôme," New York, 1892, p. 285], mentions "Pygmalion and Galatea" among several pictures that were painted in the summer and are now almost finished.
Jean-Léon Gérôme. Letter to Fanny Field Hering. January 1891 [English transl. published in Fanny Field Hering, "The Life and Works of Jean Léon Gérôme," New York, 1892, p. 286], remarks that soon he will sculpt a marble version of this picture.
Charles T. Yerkes. Catalogue from the Collection of Charles T. Yerkes. Chicago, 1893, unpaginated, no. 111, ill., notes its inclusion within the painting "The Artist's Model" (1890–92; Haggin Museum, Stockton, Calif.; A419), which depicts Gérôme working on his statue "Tanagra" (Ackerman 2000, no. S17).
F. G. Stephens. "Mr. Yerkes' Collection at Chicago.—III. The Modern Masters." Magazine of Art 18 (1895), p. 168.
Albert Soubies. J.-L. Gérôme (1824–1904): Souvenirs et notes. Paris, 1904, p. 9.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, pp. 172–73, ill., tentatively date it "sometime after 1881," from the same time the artist made a sculpted group of the subject (Hearst Castle, San Simeon, Calif.; Ackerman 2000, no. S24).
Gerald M. Ackerman. "Thomas Eakins and His Parisian Masters Gérôme and Bonnat." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 73 (April 1969), pp. 246–47, states that Gérôme used his sculpted version as the model for his paintings on this theme.
Richard Ettinghausen in Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1824–1904. Exh. cat., Dayton Art Institute. 1972, p. 95, calls ours probably the version shown in "The Artist's Model" (Haggin Museum; A419); describes the figure of Galatea in the MMA painting as indicative of Gérôme's "effort to bring sculpture to life by color," noting that the sculpted version, shown at the Salon of 1892, was originally painted although the colors have now faded.
John Jacobus. "Matisse's Red Studio." Art News 71 (September 1972), p. 32, ill.
John Rewald. "Should Hoving Be De-accessioned?" Art in America 61 (January–February 1973), p. 28.
Francis Haskell. Rediscoveries in Art: Some Aspects of Taste, Fashion and Collecting in England and France. Ithaca, N.Y., 1976, p. 116, pl. 255.
David B. Cass. In the Studio: The Making of Art in Nineteenth-Century France. Exh. cat., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, Mass., 1981, pp. 36–37, 43, 48, no. 26, ill., tentatively dates it to the 1880s; suggests that the three sculptures depicted in the background of this picture may relate to the Pygmalion theme: the bust of Diana the Huntress representing the chaste modesty Pygmalion sought among the licentious women of Cyprus; the mother and child referring to Paphos, the daughter later born to Pygmalion and Galatea; and the seated woman with her back turned, holding a mirror, representing the women of Cyprus whom Pygmalion scorned; notes that Gérôme painted another, unfinished version of this painting with the couple seen from the front, followed by the marble version exhibited at the Salon of 1892.
Gerald M. Ackerman. The Life and Work of Jean-Léon Gérôme, with a catalogue raisonné. London, 1986, pp. 134–36, 145, 268–69, 318, no. 385, ill. (color and black and white), dates it 1890; based on photographs, lists three other versions of this subject, each depicting the couple from a different angle (nos. 386, 387, 388), and an oil sketch (no. 388b), all location unknown; mentions a replica sold by Boussod, Valadon to the Emperor of Russia in 1892 [stock no. 22251; see Ref. Lafont-Couturier 2000]; states that the paintings were probably based on the plaster cast for the statue [see Ref. Ackerman 2000]; confirms that ours is the version depicted in "The Artist's Model" (Haggin Museum; no. 419).
Gary Tinterow et al. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 8, Modern Europe. New York, 1987, p. 78, ill. (color), date it about 1881.
Mechthild Schneider. "Pygmalion—Mythos des schöpferischen Künstlers." Pantheon 45 (1987), p. 118, fig. 15, dates it 1881 and erroneously states that it was shown in the Salon that year.
19th-Century European Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. Sotheby's, New York. November 1, 1995, unpaginated, under no. 80, calls ours the final version of the Pygmalion paintings; calls "The Artist's Model" now owned by the Dahesh Museum of Art, New York (A419.3) the first version, noting that it was painted in 1890 with a pair of drawings by Barye depicted in the left background, but that was then repainted about 1891–95 to include "Pygmalion and Galatea" (A388).
Marc Gotlieb in Rings: Five Passions in World Art. Ed. Michael Shapiro. Exh. cat., High Museum of Art, Atlanta. New York, 1996, pp. 44, 54–55, ill. (color).
Jane Kinsman in Paris in the Late 19th Century. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Australia. Canberra, 1996, pp. 74–75, 182, ill. (color), suggests that while in progress, the sculpture would have remained in the artist's studio for some time and could have then formed the basis for the three known paintings.
Jennifer Montagu in Rings: Five Passions in World Art. Ed. Michael Shapiro. Exh. cat., High Museum of Art, Atlanta. New York, 1996, p. 34, calls this the version with the most emotional impact because it is the only one depicting Galatea from behind.
Andreas Blühm in The Colour of Sculpture 1840–1910. Ed. Andreas Blühm and Penelope Curtis. Exh. cat., Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1996, p. 47, fig. 47 (color), calls it "Pygmalion and the Statue" and dates it 1890.
Sunanda K. Sanyal. "Allegorizing Representation: Gérôme's Final Phase." Athanor 15 (1997), pp. 38–40, fig. 3, observes that by presenting the couple from different angles in the painted versions, just as the viewer would experience before the sculpted version, Gérôme successfully mediated between the disciplines of painting and sculpture; discusses the inclusion of this picture in "The Artist's Model," and the presence of masks in both, as allegories of representation.
Hélène Lafont-Couturier. Gérôme. Paris, 1998, pp. 88–89, ill. (color).
Gerald M. Ackerman. Jean-Léon Gérôme: Monographie révisée, catalogue raisonné mis à jour. 2nd rev. ed. (1st ed., 1986). Paris, 2000, pp. 330, 338, 390, no. 385, ill. pp. 159, 331 (color and black and white), dates it 1892, and states that without doubt, the "Pygmalion and Galatea" paintings were made after the plaster cast of the statue; notes the difficulty in distinguishing between the other painted versions, but lists two finished versions, now lost (about 1892; nos. 386, 387) and two oil sketches, both in private collections (1890; nos. 388, 388.2).
Hélène Lafont-Couturier in Gérôme & Goupil: Art and Enterprise. Exh. cat., Musée Goupil, Bordeaux. Paris, 2000, pp. 21, 42 n. 109, 53 [French ed., Paris, 2000], notes that two months after buying this painting from the artist, Boussod, Valadon bought a reduction of the work (stock no. 22251), also by Gérôme, which was eventually sold to the Russian emperor; erroneously cites another work under the Goupil stock no. for the present work; states that Gérôme focused on the theme of Pygmalion and Galatea between 1890 and 1893.
Barbara Eschenburg. Pygmalions Werkstatt. Exh. cat., Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus. Munich, 2001, pp. 73, 172, 210–11, no. 79, ill. (color), dates it 1890–92.
Bernard Vouilloux. Le Tableau vivant: Phyrné, l'orateur et le peintre. Paris, 2002, pp. 162, 397 n. 97, pl. 30.
Françoise Forster-Hahn. "Public Concerns—Private Longings: Adolph Menzel's 'Studio Wall' (1872)." Art History 25 (April 2002), p. 224, pl. 33, calls it "Pygmalion" and dates it 1892; compares the "moment of psychological shock" depicted in this painting with a photograph of Gérôme next to the model for his statue "Omphale" and the statue itself (Ackerman S12).
Andreas Blühm in Wettstreit der Künste: Malerei und Skulptur von Dürer bis Daumier. Ed. Andreas Büttner. Exh. cat., Haus der Kunst München. Wolfratshausen, 2002, pp. 150–51, fig. 5 (color).
Ursula Weber-Woelk in Wettstreit der Künste: Malerei und Skulptur von Dürer bis Daumier. Ed. Andreas Büttner. Exh. cat., Haus der Kunst München. Wolfratshausen, 2002, pp. 394, 404–5, no. 184, ill. (color), dates it about 1892.
Susan P. Casteras in Artist as Narrator: Nineteenth Century Narrative Art in England and France. Ed. Hardy George. Exh. cat., Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Oklahoma City, 2005, pp. 63, 135, no. 43, ill. p. 4 (color).
Petra ten-Doesschate Chu. Nineteenth-Century European Art. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J., 2006, pp. 280–81, fig. 12-13 (color).
Frédéric Chappey. "L'iconographie de Pygmalion et Galatée aux XIXe et XXe siècles: entre introspection et exhibition." L'artiste et sa muse. Ed. Virginie Schmitt. Rome, 2006, pp. 7–8, 17 n. 17, dates it 1892; states that Gérôme painted numerous versions of "Pygmalion and Galatea" from 1890–92, after the plaster model for the sculpture.
Gary Tinterow in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, fig. 15 (installation photo, color).
Kathryn Calley Galitz in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 63, 217, no. 40, ill. (color and black and white).
Kathryn Calley Galitz in Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 72, 254, no. 66, ill. (color and black and white).
Víctor I. Stoichita. The Pygmalion Effect: From Ovid to Hitchcock. Chicago, 2008, pp. 170–72, fig. 88, comments that the presence of this painting within "The Artist's Model" (Haggin Museum; A419) "must be perceived as a dramatization and an aggregate of the peaceful session" that is the subject of the latter picture.
Édouard Papet in The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904). Ed. Laurence des Cars, Dominique de Font-Réaulx, and Édouard Papet. Exh. cat., J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Paris, 2010, pp. 302, 304–6, no. 175, ill. (color), dates it 1890; states that Gérôme worked on the sculpted and painted versions of this theme at the same time, mentioning only the MMA and one other canvas (private collection; A388).
Dominique de Font-Réaulx in The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904). Ed. Laurence des Cars, Dominique de Font-Réaulx, and Édouard Papet. Exh. cat., J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Paris, 2010, pp. 220–21.
Dominique Païni in The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904). Ed. Laurence des Cars, Dominique de Font-Réaulx, and Édouard Papet. Exh. cat., J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Paris, 2010, pp. 334–35.
Dominique de Font-Réaulx in Benjamin-Constant: Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism. Ed. Nathalie Bondil. Exh. cat., Musée des Augustins, Toulouse. Montreal, 2014, p. 338 [French ed., 2014], states that it represents a variant on his own sculptor's studio, transposed to a scene of classical mythology.