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The story of the love of Acis and the sea-nymph Galatea appears in Ovid's Metamorphoses.There the jealous Cyclops Polyphemus, who also loves Galatea, comes upon them embracing and crushes his rival with a boulder.

the story was first concocted by Philoxenus of Cythera as a political satire against the Sicilian tyrant Dionysius I of Syracuse, whose favourite concubine, Galatea, shared her name with the nymph.

The threat is as apparent in Jean-Francois de Troy's softly outlined 18th-century vision as it is in Odilon Redon's almost Surrealist painting of 1900.

The brooding atmosphere in these suggests the violent action which is to follow.

Galatea (Γαλάτεια; "she who is milk-white"), daughter of Nereus and Doris, was a sea-nymph anciently attested in the work of both Homer and Hesiod, where she is described as the fairest and most beloved of the 50 Nereids.

In Ovid's Metamorphoses she appears as the beloved of Acis, the son of Faunus and the river-nymph Symaethis, daughter of the River Symaethus.

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