Free Essay Analyzing an Artwork from the Metropolitan Museum

Published: 2022-04-25
Free Essay Analyzing an Artwork from the Metropolitan Museum
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Art
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 598 words
5 min read

The "Perseus with the Head of Medusa," is an artwork in the metropolitan museum created by Antonio Canova. To start with, Canova's art piece was created between 1804 and 1806 in Possagno. The artwork is made from marble and has it measures ninety five and a half inches long, seventy five and a half inches wide by forty and a half inches tall. The story of the work is set in Rome where the Greek hero Perseus defeats the hideous monster called Medusa. Medusa is a monster and Gorgon who has snakes as her hair, a half body of a woman on top, and a body of a snake below. Folk legends have that if you looked at her in the eyes, you would turn into a stone (Even, 2015).

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I argue that this artwork is representative of about how people live in fear and their great need for a savior to free them from their jeopardies. The theme of the work is the mythical tale of Perseus decapitation Medusa, a hideous woman-faced Gorgon whose hair was evolved to snakes and anybody that saw her was turned to stone. Perseus is positioned undressed except for a band and winged flip-flops (Dexter, 2010). I feel that the artwork shows how people in the time were living in fear, people were hoping that a brave warrior like Perseus would be the only one to defeat it. When I look at work such as this, I imagine myself as if I 'm one of the last remaining soldiers that have survived the battle and watch Perseus as he grabs the head of Medusa and finally tells us that her tyranny was no more.

Some art piece shares similar work when it comes to the style. For instance, the artwork was also created by Benevento Cellini in 1554 making it the first original article. They both have the same dimensions of sculpture. What's very different about these two is the contrast. For example, Canova's version is made up of marble, and Cellini's version is made with bronze. They both have different carving techniques even though both works have the same illustration. However, there is an article that shows the difference between the work which can explain more about the detail of the work and the origin of when and how it was created. For instance, in the article, "The Tarnowska Perseus," the article discusses the idea of making the "Perseus" figure and the detail of the work. There is a difference between the figure that is made of clay and marble. According to the article, it explains, "In leveling the line of the groin and the sculpting of the adjacent muscles he attained a more faintly flowing outline, and a slenderer and laxer figure." It illustrates how the carving of "Perseus" shows a much slender detail of the muscle around the chest and the whole body (Munteanu, 2011).

In conclusion, some artworks have the same theme made by the artist. Even though the artworks were created in different timelines, the artist uses some old artworks to reminisce themselves to understand the meaning the previous schedule. I like this artwork since it has a sense of hope and always instills faith in people who come across it. It gives its audience the assurance that they will conquer their problems in life.


Dexter. (2010). the Ferocious and the Erotic: "Beautiful" Medusa and the Neolithic Bird and Snake. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 26(1), 25. doi:10.2979/fsr.2010.26.1.25

Even, Y. (2015). A showcase of female subjugation. In The Expanding Discourse. The Loggia dei Lanzi, 126-137. Doi: 10.1163/9789004296787

Munteanu, D. L. (2011). Tragic Pathos. Doi: 10.1017/cbo9781139028257

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