In Greek Mythology, Medusa was a Gorgon, a chthonic monster, and a daughter of Phorcys and Ceto. In a late version of the Medusa myth, related by the Roman poet Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.770), Medusa was originally a ravishingly beautiful maiden, “the  jealous aspiration of many suitors,” and priestess in Athena’s temple, but  when she and the “Lord of the Sea” Poseidon laid together in Athena’s temple, the enraged Athena transformed Medusa’s beautiful hair to  serpents and made her face so terrible to behold that the mere sight of  it would turn onlookers to stone. Medusa was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. Pregnant at the time of her death, Medusa’s offspring: Pegasus the winged horse and Chrysaor, a golden-sworded giant, sprang from her decapitated neck.
Benvenuto Cellini, Perseus with the head of Medusa, c1554

In Greek Mythology, Medusa was a Gorgon, a chthonic monster, and a daughter of Phorcys and Ceto. In a late version of the Medusa myth, related by the Roman poet Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.770), Medusa was originally a ravishingly beautiful maiden, “the jealous aspiration of many suitors,” and priestess in Athena’s temple, but when she and the “Lord of the Sea” Poseidon laid together in Athena’s temple, the enraged Athena transformed Medusa’s beautiful hair to serpents and made her face so terrible to behold that the mere sight of it would turn onlookers to stone. Medusa was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. Pregnant at the time of her death, Medusa’s offspring: Pegasus the winged horse and Chrysaor, a golden-sworded giant, sprang from her decapitated neck.

Benvenuto Cellini, Perseus with the head of Medusa, c1554


Posted on Tuesday, November 8th at 11:35PM with 67 notes

tagged as: mythology, perseus, medusa, sculture, cellini, renaissance,
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    Perseus with Medusa’s head.
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