Pygmalion Adoring His Statue by Jean Raoux
Pygmalion Adoring His Statue by Jean Raoux

Pygmalion Adoring His Statue c1717 by French Painter Jean Raoux (1677 – 1734); portrait and painter of classical and literary themes.

This is the story of Pygmalion who was suspicious of women and thus remained unmarried until, he made a statue of a beautiful woman and fell in love with it.

He then pleads with the Goddess of Love, Venus, to bring his beautiful Ivory Creation To Life, giving her the name Galatea which he then later marries, becoming his wife.

The painting shows Pygmalion in a sculptor’s studio, admiring his Ivory Marble Statue as Venus partially laying on a large cloud looks down upon him and brings the statue to life with but a touch of her hand on its head.

With a cherub squeezing her left breast to see if she is turning into flesh, while another carries a basket of flowers on its head at her feet behind the the granite pedestal on which the statue stands, and a third cherub sits on the floor playing with jewelry from jewelry box by the pedestal and lastly a more mature cherub with a wreath of flowers in its head holds the statues by the arm giving her support as she transitions into the world of the living.

As the Ivory Statue is brought to life and becomes Galatea, Pygmalion is on one knee in utter astonishment looking up toward Venus as she grants him his wish and two kissing doves flap the wings above Venus on the ledge of an arch.

In another part of the sculptor’s studio that makes up the background there is a large room where we can see two other artist; a young man and young woman working on their own sculptures unaware of the miraculous event that is taking place.

This is a retouched digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image.

Info Below From

After the usual course of training Jean Raoux became a member of the Academy in 1717 as an historical painter.

His reputation had been previously established by the acclaimed decorations executed during his three years in Italy on the palace of Giustiniani Solini in Venice, and by some easel paintings, the Four Ages of Man (National Gallery), commissioned by the grand prior of Vendôme.

To this latter class of subject Raoux devoted himself, refusing to paint portraits except in character.

The list of his works is a long series of sets of the Seasons, of the Hours, of the Elements, or of those scenes of amusement and gallantry in the representation of which he was immeasurably surpassed by his younger rival Watteau.

After his stay in England (1720) he lived much in the Temple, where he decorated several rooms. He died in Paris in 1734. His best pupils were Chevalier and Montdidier. His works were much engraved by Poilly, Moyreau, Dupuis,and others.

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