Pygmalion, the sculptor who fell in love with his own creation: His story and his transformation

The legend of Pygmalion resonates through the ages, a fascinating fable that has captured the collective imagination. It's the story of a sculptor so talented that his own creation surpassed reality, and of a passion so intense that it transcended inanimate matter.

Origins of the Pygmalion myth

The Greek myth of Pygmalion has its roots in the epic poems of "Ovid's Metamorphoses", a literary treasure that continues to inspire and influence. This ancient tale is woven with meaning, exploring human relationships and the power of faith.

  • Literary source: Ovid's "Metamorphoses" remains the most comprehensive source for discovering this story.
  • Mythological context and ancient meanings: In a world where gods and mortals interacted freely, the myth of Pygmalion offers a glimpse into the beliefs and ideals of the time.

The story of Pygmalion

The sculptor and his art

Pygmalion was an artist without equal, whose hands could shape stone into living forms. Unlike his contemporaries, he avoided the company of women, disappointed by their imperfections.

The creation of Galatea

In his workshop, Pygmalion sculpted a female statue of unparalleled beauty, a work of art named Galatea. Every stroke was so perfect that she seemed on the verge of coming to life.

The budding love for his creation

Over time, Pygmalion grew so deeply in admiration of his statue that he fell head over heels in love with her. He granted Galatea human qualities, a phenomenon known as anthropomorphism.

Divine intervention and transformation

The gods play a central role in Galatea's transformation. Pygmalion's fervent prayer to Venus/Aphrodite was answered in a mythological miracle: the stone warmed up, and Galatea awoke to life.

Implications and interpretations of the myth

Psychological dimensions

The Pygmalion myth explores the quest for ideal love and, in modern psychoanalysis, Pygmalionism refers to an attraction to one's own creations or to what one has shaped oneself.

Philosophical significance

This story raises questions about the nature of creation and the creator, and resonates right up to the present day with the advent of artificial intelligence , where the creation of alternative life forms is becoming a tangible possibility.

Pygmalion in art and culture

Artistic representations of Pygmalion and Galatea are diverse: sculptures, paintings, literary and theatrical adaptations, not to mention the winks in film and television.


The story of Pygmalion and Galatea offers us a moving spectacle of the passion and power of art. Its legacy endures, proving that even the most ancient stories still have something new to teach us.


To delve deeper into the myth of Pygmalion and its impact on our cultures, consult the texts of Ovid's "Metamorphoses" and the modern studies that analyze the nuances of this timeless tale.