Perseus and Andromeda
Perseus and Andromeda, ca. 1592
Oil on slate
70.5 x 54.9 cm (27 3/4 x 21 5/8 inches)
Anonymous gift 57.167
This painting depicts the moment in which Perseus, the son of the god Zeus and the mortal Danae, first spies the Ethiopian princess Andromeda. Chained to a rock and destined to be sacrificed to a sea monster, she is so pale and motionless that only her flowing hair reveals to Perseus that she is not a statue. The artist heightens the nude maiden’s vulnerability by situating her within a strange and threatening landscape. This sense of the fantastic is further enhanced by Perseus’s flying steed and by the grotesque head of the dragon. Toward the end of the 16th century, the artist Cavaliere d’Arpino became the principal painter of Pope Clement VIII. His decorative frescoes graced the rooms of the Vatican, while his small, highly finished mythological subjects such as this one were in demand by private patrons. The painting was executed on slate, which, with its hard, smooth surface, shows the artist’s fine draftsmanship to advantage.(February 3 –April 16, 2006)(December 16, 2016 – July 2, 2017)
Edited ByWoolsey, Ann, ed.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 2008
TypeMonographs and CollectionsA Handbook of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design
Edited ByWoodward, Carla M., and Franklin W. Robinson, eds.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1988
TypeMonographs and Collections