A statuary of Cyprus, who hated women and resolved never to marry,
but fell in love with his own statue of the goddess Venus. At his
earnest prayer the statue was vivified, and he married it. (
Few, like Pygmalion, doat on lifeless charms. Or care to clasp a statue in their arms.
In Gilbert's comedy of Pygmalion and Galatea, the sculptor is a married man, whose wife (Cynisca) was jealous of the animated statue (Galatea), which, after enduring great misery, voluntarily returned to its original state. This, of course, is mixing up two Pygmalions, wide as the poles apart.
John Marston wrote certain satires called The Metamorphoses of Pygmalion's Image. These satires were suppressed, and are now very rare.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894