Aphrodite gives happiness to those who faithfully serve her. So she gave happiness to Pygmalion, the great Cypriot artist. Pygmalion hated women and lived in seclusion, avoiding marriage. Once he made a statue of a girl of extraordinary beauty out of shiny white ivory. As if alive, this statue stood in the artist's studio. She seemed to be breathing, it seemed that she was about to move, walk and speak. The artist admired his work for hours and finally fell in love with the statue created by himself. He gave her precious necklaces, wrists and earrings, dressed her in luxurious clothes, decorated her head with wreaths of flowers. How often Pygmalion whispered:
- Oh, if you were alive, if you could answer my speeches, oh, how happy I would be!
But the statue was mute.
The days of celebration in honor of Aphrodite have come. Pygmalion sacrificed a white heifer with gilded horns to the goddess of love; he stretched out his hands to the goddess and whispered with prayer:
- Oh, eternal gods and you, golden Aphrodite! If you can give everything to the one who prays, then give me a wife as beautiful as that statue of a girl that I made myself.Pygmalion did not dare to ask the gods to revive his statue, he was afraid of angering the Olympian gods with such a request. A sacrificial flame flared up brightly in front of the image of the goddess of love Aphrodite; by this, the goddess seemed to make it clear to Pygmalion that the gods had heard his plea.
The artist returned home. He approached the statue, and, oh, happiness, oh, joy: the statue came to life! Her heart is beating, life is shining in her eyes. So the goddess Aphrodite gave a beautiful wife to Pygmalion.