Figure Group of Pygmalion and Galatea

French
1770–73
Made at Sèvres Manufactory (France)


Dimensions

Overall: 115.1 x 68.8 x 55.4 cm (45 5/16 x 27 1/16 x 21 13/16 in.) Other (figure group): 21.1 x 21.8 x 35.6 cm (8 5/16 x 8 9/16 x 14 in.) Overall (pedestal): 9.7 cm (3 13/16 in.)

Accession Number

65.1813

Medium or Technique

Hard-paste biscuit porcelain

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Ceramics

The group is comprised of the standing nude figure of Galatea, the kneeling cloaked figure of Pygmalion who clasps his hands as he gazes up at her, and two cherubs to the side of and behind Galatea, who are supported by clouds. A sculptor’s mallet lies at the base of the plinth that supports Galatea. The group rises from an oval base and rests on a separate stepped oval pedestal with a dark blue ground. On an applied rectangular plaque on the front of the plaque is written in gold: “Si Pigmalion la forma,/ Si le Ciel anima son etre,/ l’Amour fit plus, il l’Enflamma,/ Sans lui que serviroit de naitre.”

Markings

on base of figure group, an incised B for Jean-Jacques Bachelier (active at Sèvres 1748/51-1793; director of sculpture 1751-1757, 1766-73); an incised i or slash to the right of the B;

Provenance

1953, Armand Wittekind, Geneva; January 6, 1953, sold by Wittekind to Rosenberg and Stiebel, New York; January 6, 1953, sold by Rosenberg and Stiebel to Forsyth Wickes (b. 1879 - d. 1964), New York and Newport, RI; 1965, bequest of Forsyth Wickes to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 24, 1965)

Credit Line

Bequest of Forsyth Wickes—The Forsyth Wickes Collection