In 1867 Burne-Jones made twelve designs in illustration of the version by William Morris in 'The Earthly Paradise' of Ovid's tale of Pygmalion from the 'Metamorphoses'. This relates how Pygmalion, a celebrated sculptor of Cyprus, fell in love with a statue of a maiden, which he had himself made. His prayers to Venus were so earnest that the goddess consented to change the statue into a living woman. They married, the former statue now called Galatea, and became the parents of Paphus, who founded the city of that name in Cyprus. Burne-Jones painted in oils, 1868-78, two series of four pictures each, illustrating the story of Pygmalion and the Image, the second series which are now in BMAG, 1903P23-26 [The first series is now in the collection of Lord Lloyd- Webber].
In this drawing, Pygmalion stands on the left, beside his bed, gazing up at his statue of a young woman, which stands in a niche on the right.