This is for Valentine’s Day. The needull captures some of the greatest lovers in art.
Here, Gérôme borrows a mythological tale of seemingly impossible love. With a little magic from the gods, however, anything can happen, as the French 19th-century academic master reveals in this canvas. It captures the momentous climax of Greek sculptor Pygmalion’s tale. Embarrassed that he had fallen madly in love with one of his female statues, he prayed to find a woman just like her. Aphrodite granted his wish later that day—represented in the painting by a happy, hovering cupid—when he landed a kiss on the ivory sculpture and she came to life.