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Pygmalion and the Image - Study for 'Pygmalion gazing at the Image'

Pygmalion and the Image - Study for 'Pygmalion gazing at the Image', 1867

Pencil on tracing paper.
141mm x 92mm
Bequest of J R Holliday, 1927.

Accession Number:



Scene shows Pygmalion gazing longingly at his sculptural creation.


Exhibition History

2004-05 Laing Art Gallery


A E Whitley. Catalogue of Drawings. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery: 1939. p. 91.
Elisa Korb with John Christian and Tessa Sidey. Hidden Burne-Jones, Works on paper by Edward Burne-Jones from Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. Dan Giles, Ltd., London: 2007. p. 78, B570.

Research Information:

In 1867 Burne-Jones made twelve designs in illustration of the version by William Morris in 'The Earthly Paradise' of Ovid's tale of Pygmalion from the 'Metamorphoses'. This relates how Pygmalion, a celebrated sculptor of Cyprus, fell in love with a statue of a maiden, which he had himself made. His prayers to Venus were so earnest that the goddess consented to change the statue into a living woman. They married, the former statue now called Galatea: their son Paphus subsequently founding the city of that name in Cyprus. Burne-Jones painted in oils, 1868-78, two series of four pictures each, illustrating the story of Pygmalion and the Image, the second series which are now in BMAG, 1903P23-26 [The first series is now in the collection of Lord Lloyd- Webber].