January 26, 2005

Pygmalion

Gosh...So many different versions of this anthology, yet different in their own ways. There is the 17th century version, many 20th century versions, and the feminist version. The pictures by Burne-Jones and Gerome can tell this story in different ways as well. If I had not read this story and just looked at the pictures, I would have to say that Burne-Jones pictures bring the story alive. Don't get me wrong, Gerome's picture was great, but if I had not known about this story beforehand, I may have come up with other conclusions.

The Burne-Jone pictures (there are four of them) bring this story alive. The first photo of Pygmalion ignoring women that are alive or real lets the person viewing it that he wants nothing to do with women. Well, I have a question--if he wanted nothing to do with women, and according to Bulfinch's Mythology, says he has came to abhor them, then what would bring him to carve a woman from ivory. Wouldn't you think from reading this mythology that he hates women so bad that he would never think of carving one? I have to admit that this translation was not my favorite. Just a little thought while I was reading--back to the photo gallery...

I would like to reconsider my thoughts about Germone's photo. It is amazing how he fits almost a whole story into one photo. The statue turns into a human and Pygmalion kissing her right away explains how deeply in love he is with her.

The feminist version of Pygmalion made me furious. In a way, I thought he was a sick, sick man as well. But if you would look at the first picture by Burne-Jones, the contemporary statues are naked. The feminist calls Pygmalion a pervert, but a naked woman's body in those days was considered beautiful. I don't agree with this feminist on those behalfs. It seems like after she read the real story of Pygmalion, she was upset because of him sculpting a naked woman, but I think it was more along the lines of a compliment. There was a time for men's naked bodies to be beautiful, there was a time for women's naked bodies to be beautiful, and during this time, being naked is not considered a work of art or beauty. I can understand why this woman feels upset about Pygmalion's work of art after reading this, but to read a piece of work like this, you have to know how life was in those certain time periods. Obviously, this woman had no idea.

Posted by Anne Stadler at January 26, 2005 09:24 PM
Comments

I found your ideas on this realistic over those of this feminist's variation of the story, if that is what you choose to call it. You stated in your article where you found the different stories, or what they were, of Pygmalion, I would appreciate it if you would email me if you are able to, as I have only found the Greek and Roman myths on it, which are both very similar. Once again, lovely article, and I hope to hear from you!
~Dahlia

Posted by: Dahlia at September 7, 2005 05:06 PM
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