Perseus Starting from the Cave of the Gorgons

A work made of oil and oil wash, over graphite and with touches of pen and black ink, on tan laid paper, laid down on off-white japanese paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil and oil wash, over graphite and with touches of pen and black ink, on tan laid paper, laid down on off-white japanese paper.

Date:

c. 1816

Artist:

Attributed to Henry Fuseli
Swiss, active in England, 1741-1825

About this artwork

Fuseli’s unfinished painting depicts the ancient Greek hero Perseus, son of Zeus, a demigod who slew Medusa, the snake-haired Gorgon whose glance turned men to stone. On the ground lies the decapitated body of Medusa, above which the airborne Perseus flees with her head, which retained its deadly power. Medusa’s two sisters, at right, unsuccessfully attempt to stop Perseus.
The painting’s source was the ancient Greek poet Hesiod’s the Shield of Heracles (translated into English in 1815), an imagined description in verse of the scenes found on Heracles’s beautifully crafted shield, including Perseus slaying Medusa.

Currently Off View

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Henry Fuseli

Title

Perseus Starting from the Cave of the Gorgons

Origin

Switzerland

Date

1810–1820

Medium

Oil and oil wash, over graphite and with touches of pen and black ink, on tan laid paper, laid down on off-white Japanese paper

Dimensions

552 x 676 mm

Credit Line

The Leonora Hall Gurley Memorial Collection

Reference Number

1980.1092

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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