PYGMALION & GALATEA
by Andre Kosslick
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ECHO & NARCISSUS
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PYGMALION & GALATEA PAGE ONE
In ancient Greece, on the island of Cyprus, there lived a
handsome and talented sculptor named Pygmalion. He loved his
work and would spend hours carving beautiful ivory statues,
always at his happiest when immersed in his art.
One day he chose a large, beautiful piece of ivory, and worked
for many long hours at it, chiseling and hammering until he
finished. It was a statue of a beautiful lady, so exquisitely
carved that she seemed almost alive.
Pygmalion at once fell in love with his creation - he thought it
was so beautiful, and he clothed the figure, gave it jewels, and
named it Galatea, which means "sleeping love".
Treating Galatea as if she were his girlfriend, he brought his
ivory statue shells and pebbles, little birds and flowers of all
colors, anything that he thought would please his love. He was
Now, you must understand that Pygmalion was so into his art that
he had vowed never to marry. He had no time for girls, he would
always say, just his art and his sculptures.
There was a deeper reason for his aversion to women. The females
of that area of Cyprus had failed to pay homage to Aphrodite,
the goddess of love, who was also the patron deity of Cyprus.
To punish this disrespect, Aphrodite had cursed the women to a
loveless life of prostitution, and this was what had caused
Pygmalion to want nothing to do with them in particular, and
women in general.
Still, the more he gazed upon Galatea, the more he wished that
he had a wife just like her, but alive. The statue was so
gorgeous and perfect that he dreamed that she were flesh and
blood, responsive to his words and touch.
During a big festival in honor of Aphrodite, the goddess of love
and beauty, Pygmalion went to the temple of Aphrodite to pray
for a wife just like the statue in his home. His prayers were so
fervent and heart-felt, and his passion so great, that the great
goddess took notice.
Wanting to see for herself what all the fuss was about,
Aphrodite visited the home of the sculptor and was delighted to
see the ivory Galatea. She couldn't help but think that the
statue looked much like herself, it was so perfect.
Indeed, Pygmalion had fashioned his ivory lover after the most
beautiful woman alive, Aphrodite.
Pleased and flattered she immediately brought the statue to
life, not even waiting for Pygmalion to come home. When the
sculptor returned to his house and kissed Galatea as was his
custom, he was startled at her warmth.
As he showered her with kisses he was beside himself with joy at
discovering that slowly the ivory was turning into flesh.
Galatea smiled down at him and spoke adoring words to her loving
Galatea told Pygmalion that it was his deep love for her that
had convinced the goddess of love to bring her to life. Together
they prayed and gave thanks to the great Aphrodite.
Soon thereafter the two got married and invited Aphrodite as
their guest of honor at the wedding. Pygmalion never forgot to
pay homage to Aphrodite for his good fortune. He and Galatea
brought gifts to her altar and sang her praises as long as they
Aphrodite blessed them with happiness and love in return, and
permitted both of them to live long and blissful lives. They had
two children, a boy named Paphos and a girl called Metharme. The
city of Paphos in Cyprus was named after their son.
Pygmalion & Galatea continues on
Click here for a ton more pix and info!
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