Head of Medusa

A work made of plaster.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of plaster.

Date:

c. 1801

Artist:

Antonio Canova
Italian, 1757-1822

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.

On View

European Painting and Sculpture, Gallery 219

Artist

Antonio Canova

Title

Head of Medusa

Origin

Italy

Date

1796–1806

Medium

Plaster

Dimensions

H. 31 cm (12 .20 in.) (without socle); H. 52.25 cm (20.57 in.) (with socle)

Credit Line

Lacy Armour Endowment

Reference Number

2002.606

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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