Triumph of Galatea

WAG 5100


This work relates to the story of the nymph Galatea, which Ovid narrated in his Metamorphoses. Galatea was in love with the young mortal shepherd: Acis, but the Cyclop Polophemus was jealous and killed Acis by throwing rocks at him. The blood flowing from beneath the rocks turned rapidly into a clear stream which flowed into the sea - the realm of Galatea. Here we can see Galatea surrounded by dolphins, nymphs, tritons as well as mer creatures, while three putti are in the air drawing their bows. Attributed since 1859 to Martin Freminet. This work is one of the artworks presented by the Liverpool Royal Institution. Liverpool's economic development grew directly from Britain's involvement with transatlantic slavery: the kidnapping, enslavement and forced migration of people from West Africa to the Americas and many to the Carribean. Many members of the Royal Institution made their fortunes directly through the trade or indirectly through the wider economy. This wealth was largely how they were able to bring rare art and treasures, such as this, to the city.