Annals of male art: embracing the statue

On Pinterest, this image of a man embracing a (male) statue:

Gay Pygmalion and the statue he loves

This from oatbug’s Tumblr account, where it’s dated 10/7/22, with the note:

reblogged from luvwish; originally from executed-deactivated20161004

But this last link is apparently now dead, so we don’t know who the ultimate creator of the image was, and what they had in mind. I post the image here because I find it moving (but then I’m a fool for same-sex affection of all sorts). And beautifully composed.

The mythological background. From Wikipedia:

In Greek mythology, Pygmalion was a legendary figure of Cyprus, who was a king and a sculptor. He is most familiar from Ovid’s narrative poem Metamorphoses, in which Pygmalion was a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had carved.

… According to Ovid, when Pygmalion saw the Propoetides of Cyprus practicing prostitution, he began “detesting the faults beyond measure which nature has given to women”. He determined to remain celibate and to occupy himself with sculpting. He made a sculpture of a woman that he found so perfect he fell in love with it. Pygmalion kisses and fondles the sculpture, brings it various gifts, and creates a sumptuous bed for it.

In time, Aphrodite’s festival day came and Pygmalion made offerings at the altar of Aphrodite. There, too afraid to admit his desire, he quietly wished for a bride who would be “the living likeness of my ivory girl”. When he returned home, he kissed his ivory statue, and found that its lips felt warm. He kissed it again, and found that the ivory had lost its hardness. Aphrodite had granted Pygmalion’s wish. [They then married, and, in Ovid’s telling, had a daughter.]

… The basic Pygmalion story has been widely transmitted and re-presented in the arts through the centuries. [AZ: In some of these, the statue brought to life is named Galatea.]

I would like to think of the statue above as Italian(ate), so I call him Galateo.


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