Ovid in his metamorphosestells the story of the mortal shepherd Acis, who falls in love with Galatea, a Nereid or water nymph, whose Greek name translates as "she who is milk white". The jealous Cyclop Polyphemus bludgeoned Acis with a boulder and in response, a troubled Galatea transformed him into the Sicily river that bears his name. Her narrative has inspired numerous works of art, including Handel's Shepherd's Opera from 1718, Acis and Galateawith a libretto by John Gay and paintings by Lorrain and Poussin.
Raphael Triumph of GalateaA fresco created for the Villa Farnesina in Rome around 1512 shows a later scene in the life of the Nereids when Galatea triumphed in a shell-drawn chariot drawn by dolphins. On the left a triton, half human and half fish, kidnaps a s...
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