About this artwork
The great Neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova dominated the artistic scene in Rome at the turn of the 19th century. This bust represents a partial study for his marble statue Perseus Holding the Head of Medusa (1797–1801). The face of Medusa, a monster from Greek mythology, had the power to petrify anyone who beheld it. Canova expressed the horror of Medusa’s appearance and her death throes in this decapitated head. The sculptor initially modeled the work in clay, subsequently making a plaster mold of it. This preserved the freshness and spontaneity of the model while conveying a surface similar to the finished marble.
- Antonio Canova
- Head of Medusa
- H. 31 cm (12 .20 in.) (without socle); H. 52.25 cm (20.57 in.) (with socle)
- Lacy Armour Endowment