Dose of Art #31: Joachim Wtewael – Perseus and Andromeda (1611)

Perseus and Andromeda
*oil on canvas
*180 x 150 cm
*1611
*signed: JOACHIM WTEWAEL FECIT ANNO 1611 (S.D.MI.H.B.G.)

After her mother claimed Andromeda was more beautiful than the daughters of the sea god Nereus, Poseidon did send the sea monster Cetus to ravage the coast as punishment. According to the Oracle of Apollo the only way to stop it was to sacrifice Andromeda, and her father decided to do so. Wtewael painted the scene of her rescue; both hands are chained to the rock, and the ground at her feet is covered with seashells (beautifully detailed) and human bones. The moment Cetus has almost reached her, Persues -who was on his way back home after killing the Gorgon Medusa- descends from the sky wearing the helm of Hades (which makes him invisible). His sword is already drawn. The villagers in the background look in awe at the scene.
The painting is on display in the Musée du Louvre

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